The MCSA and Melbourne Victory present Melbourne’s Asian Cup 2013

IT’S still almost 400 days until the 2015 AFC Asian Cup touches down in Australia – but Grant Roberts shows you how to satisfy your football appetite in the meantime with the Melbourne Asian Cup 2013.

The Melbourne Chinese Soccer Association (MSCA) and Melbourne Victory have partnered up to launch the 2013 Melbourne Asian Cup – a tournament designed to bring Asian communities together through a love of football.

Melbourne Asian Cup. Photo via MCSA

Melbourne Asian Cup. Photo via MCSA

Over the next three months, teams made up of the best amateur footballers from communities across Victoria will represent 16 Asian countries, with the final to be held as a Melbourne Victory curtain raiser on March 7, 2014.

The inaugural competition is being held at Darebin International Sports Centre and just completed its second round of qualifying this past weekend, with Australia, Japan, Iran and Indonesia leading the way with two straight wins.

Iran v India at Melbourne Asian Cup. Photo via MCSA

Iran v India at Melbourne Asian Cup. Photo via MCSA

Japan has already showcased their dominance with a 6-2 victory over Korea Republic to kick off their campaign on route to nine goals in their first two matches.

Indonesia have followed suit amassing a staggering 11 goals, yet were challenged in their last match against V United escaping with a 4-3 win.

Australia remains undefeated downing Nepal and Korea Republic in their first outings, 2-0 and 5-3 respectively.

Australia plays Japan in the next round in a match that will decide who goes a top of the group.

Both teams have already qualified for the quarter finals.

Andrew Young, secretary at MCSA, said the turnout for the opening two rounds had been spectacular, estimating almost 800 people attending the first two days.

“Games were played in carnival like atmosphere. It is great to see that spectators were out in droves to support their teams and their heroes. These loyal supporters helped their teams reach new heights,” said Young.

And with free admission to the games, Young said fans have so far seen some great matches.

“Each and every game so far was extremely competitive and to everyone’s credit, played in great spirit – hard but fair and with respect,” he said.

Melbourne Asian Cup. Photo via MCSA

Melbourne Asian Cup. Photo via MCSA

The final round of qualifying will take place on January 19, 2014 at the Darebin International Sports Centre to whittle the teams down to just eight for the quarterfinals.

Scores so far

Qualifying – Round One

Iran 3 – 1 India

Hong Kong 5 – 3 Afghanistan

China 1 – 0 East Timor

Indonesia 7 – 0 Thailand

Lebanon 3 – 1 V United

Zambia 3 – 2 Iraq

Japan 6 – 2 Korea Republic

Australia 2 – 0 Nepal

Qualifying – Round Two

China 2 – 2 Zambia

Afghanistan 5 – 0 India

Iran 5 – 2 Hong Kong

Iraq 5 – 1 East Timor

Indonesia 4 – 3 V United

Thailand 1 – 1 Lebanon

Australia 5 – 3 Korea Republic

Japan 3 – 0 Nepal

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