The CW Alcock CupAL RAYYAN, QATAR – 17/01/11

The UFWC title is on the line in what will be a match to decide whether there will be a UFWC/Asian Cup title unification or not at the end of the tournament.

A title defence for Japan will guarantee passage for the team through to the Quarter-Finals, bringing the UFWC title with them. However, if Saudi Arabia defeat Japan to claim the title, they will leave the competition with the CW Alcock Cup.

Japan got off to a slow start in the Asian Cup, but a strong victory over Syria will have given Zaccheroni’s squad a great condidence boost, and could set them up to win a record-breakinf 4th Asian Cup. But Japan’s task has been made more difficult by the suspension of their first-choice goalkeeper, as well as injuries to key players Daisuke Matsui and Keisuke Honda, who could be ruled out for the final group game.

Like Japan, Saudi Arabia were on a quest to win their 4th Asian Cup, but their campaign has failed spectacularly. Having been expected to advance easily to the Quarter-Finals along with Japan, they instead succumbed to defeats to Syria and Jordan, leaving them eliminated from the tournament with a game still to play. Several members of the Green Falcons’ squad have spoken out to apologize to their fans for their poor results, and they will be eager to make up for some of the disappointed by finishing their tournament on a high. And despite there results so far, there is no reason why they can’t get a result. They will be looking to start striker Yasser Al-Qahtani and his 50 previous international goals to provide a spark up front, and leave the title with a measure of respect, the UFWC title, and potentially eliminating Japan along with themselves.

Should Japan defend the title, they will face either Uzbekistan or hosts Qatar in the Quarter-Final, dependant on results, and we will follow it all the way if we have to.