Here at GFS HQ we are always willing to help out fellow bloggers/writers when they have a good idea. So when Gareth Llewellyn-Stevens came to us with the idea of a Women’s Football podcast, we were happy to help out.

We are happy to introduce “Episode 1 of Women’s Football Weekly – World Cup Preview”

Gareth Llewellyn-Stevens is the host of the program on the show this week is John Burn-Murdoch, former editor of the Durham University student newspaper, as we preview the sixth Women’s World Cup starting on Sunday in Germany, running through the four groups, key players to watch out for, and our predictions for the knockout stages of the most-eagerly anticipated competitions in women’s football.

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After a rush of work hit the gibfootballshow shores mixed in with the incompentency of Eurosport in ever scheduling something for when it’s actually on, it has been nigh on impossible to keep up with the Asian Cup to the extent that the website wanted to.

The competition has reached the Quarter Final stage and it’s time to make the return to the crazy world of Asian football. Group A maybe had a slight upset as China were eliminated but however Uzbekistan have been superb and Qatar bucked up their ideas to see both teams advance.

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I apologise for the lack of a report, with the podcast recording today it has been impossible to keep up.

But incase you missed the game here are some length highlights…enjoy.


After a good performance in the first game China will be unhappy to not pick up any points against the hosts. Qatar on the other hand will be delighted, back in contention for a place in the last eight, with the home support behind him it is a real boost to the competition.

Den Zhuoxuxiang impressive in the first game should have done better with his early chance, Yu Han tricked his way down the left, drawing in two players he cut the ball back to Rong Hao. Rong played a superb left foot cross to the back post Deng jumped well but his header went straight in the hands of Qasem Burham.

After missing a good chance China should have been made to pay. Ibrahim Majed’s shot was blocked by Zhao Peng, however the defender fell while attempting his clearance and the ball fell to Sebastian Suria inside the penalty box. Suria swung his left foot at the ball and made an absolute hash of the attempt, scuffing the ball wide of the post. No doubt the miss of the tournament.

Back came China, Yu Han was sent away down the left he had Gao Lin free in the centre, but Yu’s pass was too weak, Gao was dragged away from goal and with the angles against him his shot was easily blocked and straight in the keepers arms. Yu should have done better.

Quarter of the way through the game and China got a warning about the intentions of Qatar forward Yusef Ahmed his powerful right footed shot whistled past the post. There was more to come.

Only seconds later Ahmed controlled the ball well on his chest 30 yards from goal, turning with the ball, then with a deft touch with his knee as he advanced forward he unleashed a shot that Tony Yeboah would have been proud of. The shot rocketed and dipped into the top corner. It must be in contention for Goal of the Tournament so far, a fantastic solo effort.

Qatar doubled their lead just before the break, from a throw in on the right the ball was flicked on to Yusef Ahmed, controlled gracefully on his chest, he then let the ball drop, spinned to his right and fired a shot between defender Du Wei’s legs and the defence could only watch as it trundled into the net. What a way to end the first half, Qatar two goals to the good and putting themselves right back in this tournament.

The second half wasn’t as good as the first, Yang Xu had a half chance for China. Rong Hao looked a good player on the left, full of energy, good passing, good touch. He burst into life cutting inside with a nice give and go, he fed Yang the ball. Yang turned and shot but the ball was always going wide.

Suria then had a chance to make up for his sitter. A Long ball from defence was easily intercepted by Zhao Peng the centre back his header was too weak to clear the ball though and Suria pounced. Dribbling across goal he then fired a powerful shot towards goal, unfortunately the only thing it made contact with was the pole holding up the net.

Already 2-0 down things got worse for China before the end. Zhao Peng although not having the best game, the management team will have been worried when he had to come off. Holding his hamstring it did not look good, and you don’t want to leave Du Wei all by himself in the centre of your defence.

The game ended 2-0 a great victory for the hosts, China disappointed they couldn’t build on the opening win. China coach Gao Hongbo felt let down by his teams quality in front of goal.

“Our team didn’t do very well in the attack,” he said.

“Qatar scored their two goals in the first-half and we didn’t put them under enough pressure so they organised their defence as the pressure was not big.

“This is a very good experience for the team. It is an away game and there were a lot of fans here to support Qatar. The atmosphere of the stadium was great and our young players can learn from the match.

“All the players did a very good job tonight. We lost the game but losing is a part of our life and I think we can do better in the next game, which is the most important game for us.”

Qatar’s Coach Bruno Metsu was delighted his side finally showed what they were made of.

“We had to show the true face of our team and the players showed our real performance tonight,”

“I’m proud with everything that they showed and happy about this performance.

“I hope that we can have a similar display in next match against Kuwait so that we can carry on in the competition and advance to the knockout stage.

“We did our best to get a 2-0 lead in the game against China. After taking the lead, we faced a tough situation as China went on the attack as they tried to get back into the game.

“We missed several chances but I’m happy that we created these chances. I hope that we can create such chances in the next game and that we can take the pressure off our shoulders against Kuwait.”

Qatar will fancy their chances against Kuwait in the last group game, and China know they will most likely need a win if they want to make it to the last eight. Should be an exciting last day in Group A on Sunday.


The start of the second phase of games. Winning will give you a massive chance to advance, lose your second game and you’re likely to be going home. Uzbekistan after their win against Qatar could advance to the next round win a victory.

Uzbekistan started well, a lovely passing move saw the ball played out to Sanjar Tursunov his crossed made it’s way to the back post where Odil Akhmedov was caught by surprise and he couldn’t direct his header on target.

Unfortunately for Kuwait they couldn’t even create what would be known as a half chance, maybe quarter chances if you really wanted to.

It was left to Uzbek legend Maksim Shatskikh to open the scoring. Kuwait conceded a free-kick on the edge of the box, Shatskikh tried to place it betweet the two Uzbek players in the wall, the kick came off one of the players backs changing direction leaving Nawaf Al Khaldi with no chance.

Kuwait came out from the break firing on all cylinders; Fahad Awad charged down the left and fired in a dangerous cross. Hamad Nayef on at the break won the header but could only direct it over the bar.

Minutes later Kuwait made the breakthrough; Walied Ali cut inside and found Nayef in the area. Anzur Ismailov mistimed his tackle and brought Nayef down in the box. A definite penalty and a great chance for Kuwait to save their tournament.

Bader Al Mutwa stepped up and calmly placed the ball into the corner of the net, sending Ignatiy Nesterov the wrong way.

Server Djeparov then took the game by the horns, picking up the ball in midfield, he then played it wide to Jasur Khasanov on the left, Djeparov continued his run, Khasanov cut the ball back to him and Djeparov smashed a fantastic first time left footed effort past Al Khaldi the Kuwaiti keeper had no chance. A superb goal which he then celebrated in style with his customary back flips.

With ten minutes left Kuwait tried to find an equaliser and substitute Ahmad Ajab Alzemi should have scored that goal. Bader Al Mutwa played a long ball from near the half way line, Alzemi ghosted into the box he went for the spectacular volley, unfortunately his shin got in the way and he spooned it over the bar.

Uzbekistan deserved the win in the end but Kuwait had their chances in the second half, their first half let themselves down.

Uzbekistan coach Vadim Abramov warned other teams of his teams chances in the tournament.

“This is a big tournament, who wins this tournament is the best team. Every team at this tournament is very strong and I hope the quality of the football does not get less,” he said.

“I think we can cause some surprises and I hope Uzbekistan will be champion in this tournament, but there are many other good teams here so it will be difficult, but I hope it will be Uzbekistan.”

Kuwait coach Goran Tufegdzic said that experience was the key to his teams troubles.

“Now this is a very bad feeling, Our team lost this match but we have one match remaining against Qatar. Our target is to win that match and pick up our first three points of the tournament.

“Maybe my players need more experience but what can you do, these things happen and one thing is for sure is that these players have a good future.

“Our team lost many chances against Kuwait  but they are very young; the average age of our squad is under 23.

“You saw today our team have the players to get a good result but they need experience.”

The Uzbeki team now need only a point from their final game against China to secure their place in the last eight. Kuwait need a miracle if they are to progress, looks very unlikely.


An international derby if ever there was one. Although Iraq are the reigning champions, Both teams were evenly matched, after going behind Iran rallied well to come back and pick up the three points.

Iraq created the first chance of the game when a lovely flick sent Younus Mahmood through on goal, Iran keeper Mahdi Rahmati was out quickly and he saved well from Mahmood’s shot.

And it was Iraq that took the deserved lead a deep cross to the back post, poor positioning from the centre backs and the goalkeeper saw them caught out when Imad Mohammed headed the ball back across goal, Younus Mahmood slide in to put his side ahead.

Mohammed Kassid in the Iraq net was then called upon to keep his team ahead. Iman Mobali swung in a free kick defender Hada Aghili got his header on target but it wasn’t good enough to beat Kassid.

Just before half time Iran brought the game level a superbly weighted through ball by Anderanil Teymourian saw Gholam Reza Rezaei sprang the offside trap and with all the time in the world he picked his spot and placed his shot by Kassid.

Not much to report from the second half to be honest, well apart from the winning goal. With six minutes to go Samer Saeed gave away a stupid free-kick. Mobali took it from the left with his right foot, curled in dangerously it seemed to evade everyone, keeper no where to be seen and he got embarrassed as the ball squeeked through his legs.

The comeback complete for Iran and a great win against the 2007 Champions. Iraqi coach Wolfgang Sidka was unhappy with the way his side gave the ball away.

“It was as expected a tough match from two teams,” said the German coach.

“The game was one of the toughest and most exciting matches here and there was a lot of fighting spirit shown in the game.

“I think that Iran played very well and it was a match of the same level. We created some chances and for me it was a 50/50 game.

“However, what we missed today was ball retention and it was difficult to pass the ball around because Iran put pressure on us in the second half.”

The group is still wide open after one set of game, all still to play for.


We’re not even one week into this year’s Asian Cup and use of the word “deflection” has tripled. This match was no different. The heavily fancied Koreans did enough to earn all three points off a disappointing Bahrain side.

In what was to be a overall poor performance from both sides it was Park Ji-Sung and the Koreans that started well. The Manchester United player was set up by Lee Chung-Yong but his shot failed to test Mahmood Mansoor. Apart from the early effort Park was not as influential as he would have liked.

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A game that will be remembered for deflected goals and the good, bad and the ugly from the goalkeepers. However a fantastic day for the people of Syria, victory over the three time Asian Cup Winners is no mean feat.

It was clear to see from the off that Syria weren’t going to lie down and let the Saudi’s take the game to them. Wael Ayan’s early shot although high and wide had the venom behind it that showed they meant business. They started the first half strong and with the vocal support backing them up they continued to pepper the Saudi box with crosses.

Mohamed Al Zino was the first to really test Waleed Abdullah in the Saudi net, his 25 yard strike was hit well and Abdullah had to get his whole body behind the shot to avoid embarrassment.

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The second day’s action in the Asian Cup seemed to have a little more quality to it then the competition opener. Although the result could have been different it was the “Red Machine” that eventually triumphed.

From the start China’s #10 Deng Zhuoxiang stood out as a player with quality, spraying some excellent passes from his dangerous left foot, it would come back to punish the Kuwaitis in the second half.

Early on the underdogs Kuwait should have had a penalty. Quite fitting that five years ago China’s Captain Du Wei was making his debut for Celtic against Clyde in the Scottish Cup, and it was the very same player that without getting anywhere near the ball swiped Bader Al Mutwa’s legs from underneath him. A clear penalty but the referee gave nothing. If only Du Wei had the same luck that day at Broadwood Stadium.

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Today saw the opening match of the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, the hosts Qatar were up against Uzbekistan. Let’s just say it didn’t go according to plan for the hosts on their big day.

After an uninspired first half it was up to defender Odil Akhmedov to start the tournament off with a BANG! Stepping up from back, 30 yards from goal Ahmedov tried his luck and fired a wonderful goal past the flailing Qasem Burhan in the Qatar net.

The home crowd inside the Khalifa International Stadium groaned when the home side went 2-0 down. A poor backpass from left-back Ibrahim Majed put 2008 Asian Football of the Year Server Djeparov in on goal and all he had to do was sidefoot the ball past Burhan and the Uzbeki’s had the 2-0 victory which puts then in pole position to qualify from Group A.

Qatar coach Bruno Metsu came out with an honest account of his teams performance:

“Today is a very bad start for our team,” he said.

“We wanted to play well for the people, for everybody but we played a very bad game today. I’m sorry for the fans, for everybody but sometimes it is very difficult to play well right from the start of a tournament, particularly with pressure on the players.

“I hope that the team will improve and I think it is very possible because today there were many mistakes and the players need to give something more for the next game.”

On the opposite side Uzbekistan’s coach Vadim Abramov seemed very confident of his teams performance:

“I’m very sorry for Qatar people because this was a big celebration for them,” he said.

“They (the players) played great today but this is not our maximum, I still think that we can play much better.

“We got the three points today and we are happy now but we should not relax for the next match. We will enjoy this now but tomorrow we will look to the next match.

“The fact that we beat Qatar today will help us for the next game.”

Tomorrow Kuwait will take on China in the Al Gharafa Stadium a win for either team will give them a great chance to progress.