South Korea, Japan eye berth in final

Park is expected to reach the 100-cap milestone when his side face three-times champions Japan in an eagerly anticipated semifinal at the Al Gharafa Stadium on Tuesday.

"I would like to congratulate Park for 100 caps, and as a gift I want to give him victory in tomorrow's match," Cho told reporters.

Park said prior to the tournament he would retire from international football but when asked during it if that was still the case, he would not confirm his intentions.  Cho will be hopeful he can convince the midfielder to stay on.

The 29-year-old has been at the centre of his side's impressive displays in reaching the last four and his team-mate Koo Ja-cheol revealed his importance to the Korean team as they try and win their third Asian title and first for 51 years.



Japan's Italian coach Alberto Zaccheroni said he had given his squad a day off on Sunday so they could refresh after finishing two matches with 10-men en route to the last four.

"So far we played four matches and the two matches we played with the 10 men so mentally the players looked very exhausted and also we are in Qatar for 20 days already and not having any days off," Zaccheroni explained.

The two East Asian rivals will have to make alterations to their defensive line because of suspensions with Japan missing Mayo Yoshida and Lee Jung-Soo out for South Korea.

Australia not Brazil!

Australia are a good team but do not inspire the kind of fear playing against five-time world champions Brazil would do, Uzbekistan's confident coach Vadim Abramov said ahead of their Asian Cup semifinal.

Abramov, who predicted before the tournament began that his side, ranked 108th in the world by FIFA, would lift the title retained that early self-assurance when he spoke to reporters ahead of the game.

"Australia is a good team, but they're also not Brazil," said Abramov. "My players can beat Australia. Japan beat Argentina (1-0 in a friendly in October), why can't Uzbekistan beat Australia?"

Australia have built their run to a first semifinal appearance on a tight defence, marshalled by Asian Player of the Year Sasa Ognenovski and captain Lucas Neill.

Australia have only leaked one goal so far. "They are used to scoring two goals in each game but it will change in the next one," Australian boss Holger Oseick told reporters.  The German coach smiled when he was told of Abramov's confident predictions.

"I can underline what he said because if he had any doubts in his team he would be a bad coach. "I can assure you I am of the same opinion but in reverse. I think we are strong enough to go through and I am confident in my players."

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