| SINGAPORE (4 March 2010) – For the first time in years, there will be no representations from ASEAN for the 2011 Asian Cup in Qatar following the final round of qualifying matches last night.
With the last remnants of hope resting on Singapore and Thailand, both teams failed to make the cut for Asia’s football extravaganza next year when they each conceded defeat away from home.
Singapore fought back from an early goal off Jordan’s Odai Al Saify in the ninth minute through Noh Alam Shah just four minutes after the break to give themselves a glimmer of hope for a place in the final rounds.
But Anas Bani Yaseen had the last say in the game that was played at the King Abdullah International stadium in Amman when he struck what was the winner just after the hour mark.
The loss for Singapore was heartbreaking as they had only needed a draw against Jordan – following Thailand’s 1-0 loss to Iran at the Azadi Stadium in Teheran with the only goal in the game coming off Javed Nekounam in the last minute of play.
“It is very upsetting not to be in the finals of the tournament,” said Thailand head coach Bryan Robson.
“The team has had many problems since I arrived here, I did my best to resolve these problems but in the end I could not find a solution to the problems of my offence.
“Iran are a very strong team, they were both technically and physically better than us and this superiority accounted for the victory they gained.
“I am hopeful Thailand’s young talents can some day resolve their problems with regards to scoring. We really had big problems due to poor finishing.“
In the meantime, Indonesia completed their qualifying campaign with a 1-0 loss to Australia in Brisbane – thanks a strike from Mark Milligan just before the break.
QUALIFIED TEAMS FOR AFC ASIAN CUP QATAR 2011 FINALS
Direct bye to the Finals
Eligible through qualifying