If the other three Quarter Finals can live up to the excitement and quality of the first then we are in for a treat. Five goals, some great football, excitement around the stadium, such a shame that in the end someone had to lose.

The hosts and underdogs had a great start and forced a good save from Eiji Kawashima, forward Sebastian Soria had his shot blocked however it fell to Mesaad Ali and his powerful effort forced the Japanese keeper to make a fine save. A great start from Bruno Metsu’s side and the home fans had the atmosphere jumping.

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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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GROUP E

Gregory van der Wiel – Netherlands – 8 caps (0 goals)

The once troubled centre back was the present that Marco van Basten left on his departure from Ajax, turning Gregory into a full back was a masterstroke, loves to bomb forward and deliver crosses and still has his centre back instincts when it comes to defending, a bit of an unknown quantity in the Dutch team, his name will be well known come July.

Christian Eriksen – Denmark – 3 caps (0 goals)

Described as “one of the hot young prospects in any squad in the World Cup” Christian cause a bit of a interest frenzy in a recent Denmark U-20 game, scouts and agents running for their phones and laptops, only to find out he had already had a tour round Real Madrid’s training complex, not seen him play myself but very intrigued to see what he is capable of.

Shinji Okazaki – Japan – 24 caps (16 goals)

A striker in form, 16 goals in the last year, helping Japan to qualify for the World Cup, saw him for the first time against England in the recent friendly, he had good movement and awareness, a couple of half chances he may have done better with, with service coming from Honda and Nakamura he could have a chance to fire his way into Japanese folklore.

Nicolas N’Koulou – Cameroon – 6 caps (0 goals)

A very promising defender that has come from the same academy as Samuel Eto’o and Carlos Kameni, he recently played at the 2008 Olympics, has recently broke into the starting line-up for his country after an impressive season for Monaco, his performances has led the likes of Arsenal, Lyon, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla to show a interest, I predict more teams to join that list in the coming weeks.

GROUP F

Giampolo Pazzini – Italy – 8 caps (1 goal)

I haven’t personally seen a lot of Giampolo since he scored the first goal at the new Wembley Stadium, he had a great season at Sampdoria this year scoring 30 goals and helping Samp reach the Champions League for the first time since they reached the final at the Old Wembley stadium, looking forward to seeing what he can do in the Azzuri blue this summer.

Lucas Barrios – Paraguay – 3 caps (3 goals)

This is a player I am excited for, it could be one of those fairytale stories, moved to Borussia Dortmund from Colo-Colo last summer and he’s had a great season 19 goals in one of Dortmund’s best seasons for a while, I thought he was going to be in the same situation as Darren Bent, scoring goals in the league and not going to the World Cup, but then the Argentinean born forward got a life-line, he received his Paraguayan nationality in March (his mother is from Paraguay) then had to denounce his Argentinean nationality as the country doesn’t recognise Dual-Nationalities.

Lucas hasn’t looked back 3 goals in 3 games, known as being a penalty box predator also good in the air, is the script written for Barrios to lead Paraguay to a place in football history, a Quarter-Final place would be a great result.

Winston Reid – New Zealand – 3 caps (0 goals)

A player I have never seen play, but doing some research I picked him as my All-White player to watch, born in New Zealand but moved to Denmark when he was 10 this towering centre back made waves in Danish football and played for Denmark for the U-19, U-20 and U-21, however in march he declared he would play for New Zealand and made himself available for selection, making the 23 man squad he made his debut against Austrailia in a friendly match, impressing manager Ricki Herbert in his performance.

He has played 85 games for Danish club side FC Midtjylland at only 21 he sounds like a great prospect.

Miroslav Stoch – Slovakia – 12 caps (1 goal)

Another young exciting prospect due to make his bow at the World Cup, was signed for Chelsea in 2006 at 16 years old, spent 3 years in the reserves making 4 senior appearances, he was then sent to Dutch club FC Twente on loan under the tutelage of Steve McClaren, playing 32 games scoring 10 goals and lifting the Dutch title, not a bad season.

Miroslav mirrors his game on the skills of Ronaldinho and Ronaldo, which combines to a winger that loves to score goals, this talent has lead him to change club again, signing with Fenerbahce for next season, I have no doubt he will be a star in Turkey, a player for Italy and Paraguay to fear come June, he will for sure turn a few heads.

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