Over the past week, there’s been action aplenty across the continent of Asia and it’s time to catch up with it all. We shall begin with the Super League in India. Sunil Chhetri made his 150th performance for Bengaluru against Delhi Dynamos and although they left it late, the Blues managed to get all three points with a goal in the final ten minutes. Away from Bengaluru, there’s been a usual suspect grabbing the headlines in FC Goa and someone rather unexpected in NorthEast United. Eelco Schattorie has revitalised the Guwahati-based side since taking over from Avram Grant and if they keep up their form, there’s every chance they could finally make the top four. In fact, if you are into Soccer Betting you can get some excellent odds on NorthEast to win the ISL.
In one of the other Super Leagues, namely China, there was finally a new champion. Shanghai SIPG knocked Guangzhou Evergrande off their perch, winning the title by five points. However, it was at the foot of the table where the real drama was. Changchun Yatai, Tianjin Teda and Chongqing all finished level on 32 points which meant that head-to-head had to be brought in to separate the sides. Changchun Yatai dropped, alongside Guizhou Hengfeng. Elsewhere in China, Yannick Carrasco’s side, Dalian Yifang, finished 11th, which was highly credible considering the treacherous start that they had.
Away from the Super Leagues, the AFF Suzuki Cup is in full flow. For those that don’t know, it’s a tournament held every two years for clubs affiliated with the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF). Two groups of five are cut down to four teams and that’s where we join the competition.
Strong Performances All-Round
Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines are our four remaining teams. In what is a rather unique format, the semi-finals are spread over two legs, with each side having a home game, so it’s nothing like the European Championships in that respect. Vietnam travel to Bacolod to face the Philippines on the 2nd of December, but before that, on the 1st, Malaysia host Thailand in Kuala Lumpur. Thailand are the defending champions and considering they scored 15 goals in four group games, it’s fair to say they are the ones to watch. It’s not a foregone conclusion, not by a long shot. Vietnam have a tendency of upsetting the apple cart, so don’t be surprised to see Vietnam frustrate Thailand in the final and come away with a narrow victory.
That’s all for today – just to sum up, it’s hotting up all over Asia with the Indian Super League as competitive ever and the AFF Suzuki Cup getting down to the nitty and gritty.
Until the next time.