AFC Asian Cup

The AFC Asian Cup is known as the most important tournament in Asia.

AFC Asian Cup history

The Asian Cup decides which team becomes the continental champion of Asia. The European Championship and the Copa América are the equivalents of this tournament only then in Europe and South America. The Asian Cup is the second-oldest continental football championship.

The Asian Cup is held every four years usually. Only once the tournament was moved because the Summer Olympics and European Championship were scheduled in the same year (2004). The Asian Cup was rescheduled.

In 2007 Australia joined the Asian confederation. After that, the Asian Cup was expanded from 16 teams to 24 teams in 2019.

Tournament format

Since 2019 all qualified teams have played three games in a group of four teams. The winner of a group and the runner-up will proceed to the knockout stage. Another way to advance to the knockout stage is to become one of the four best third-placed teams. In the round of 16, a single-elimination tournament will start.

Asian Cup Winners

South Korea won the Asian Cup in 1954 and 1960. The biggest win of South Korea was a 16-0 win over Nepal in 2003. The biggest defeat happened in 1948 when South Korea lost 0-12 against Sweden. The best result at the World Cup was the fourth place in 2002.

Israel won the Asian Cup in 1964 and qualified for the World Cup in 1970. This was the only time Israel participated at the World Cup. The biggest win was a 9-0 win over Chinese Taipei in 1988, while the team lost three times with a six-goal difference. This happened against Yugoslavia (6-0) in 1949, Italy (6-0) in 1961, and while playing Germany( 7-1) in 2002.

Iran won the Asian Cup three times. They were crowned champions in 1968, 1972 and 1976. The biggest win is a 19-0 win in a match versus Guam in 2000. There are two matches that Iran lost with a difference of five goals. This happened against Turkey in 1950 (6-1) and South Korea (5-0) in 1958. Iran has qualified for the World Cup six times and has qualified for the World Cup In Qatar.

Kuwait won the Asian Cup in 1980 and qualified for the World Cup in 1982. The biggest win of Kuwait was the 20-0 win over Bhutan in 2000. The team has lost 8-0, which is the biggest loss of Kuwait, twice. This happened in 1961 against the United Arab Republic and in a match against Portugal in 2003.

Saudi Arabia became the champion three times: in 1984, 1988 and 1996. In 1994 they reached the round of 16 of the World Cup. The biggest win is a 0-10 win over Timor Leste in 2015. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia lost 13-0 in a match versus the United Arab Republic in 1961.



Japan won the Asian Cup on four occasions. Japan came out on top in 1992, 2000, 2004 and 2011, which means Japan is the most prosperous country in the Asian Cup. The biggest win is the 15-0 win over the Philippines in 1967, while the biggest defeat is against the Philippines. This defeat happened in 1917 and ended in 2-15. In the World Cup, they managed to get to the round of 16 on three occasions.

Iraq became champion in 2007 and qualified for the World Cup in 1986. The biggest win is a 13-0 win over Ethiopia in 1992, while Iraq has lost with a six-goal difference against Turkey in 1959, Brazil in 2012 and Chile in 2013. A six-goal defeat is the biggest defeat Iraq has ever faced.

Australia participated four times in the Asian cup (since 2007), and they managed to become champion in 2015. At the World Cup, Australia reached the round of 16 in 2006. The biggest win of the Socceroos is a 31-0 win against American Samoa in 2001, while the biggest defeat is a 0-8 loss versus South Africa in 1955. The 31-0 is the biggest win at the international level ever.

Qatar is the reigning champion after winning the 2019 edition. The World Cup of 2022 will be their first World Cup, and they are the hosts. The biggest win for Qatar is a 15-0 win over Bhutan in 2015, while the biggest defeat was a 9-0 loss in 1973.

AFC Women’s Asian Cup

The AFC Asian Cup has an edition for women, namely, the AFC Women’s Asian Cup. In the final round, twelve national women’s teams can participate, while there are 35 teams in the qualifiers. After 20 editions, China PR is the most successful team with nine titles. North Korea and Chinese Taipei both won three times, while Japan was able to win twice. Australia, Thailand and New Zealand managed to win the AFC Women’s Asian Cup once.


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