|Dates||17 July – 7 August|
|Teams||16 (from 1 confederation)|
|Venue(s)||4 (in 4 host cities)|
|Champions||Japan (3rd title)|
|Goals scored||96 (3 per match)|
|Attendance||937,650 (29,302 per match)|
|Top scorer(s)|| A'ala Hubail |
(5 goals each)
|Best player(s)||Shunsuke Nakamura|
|Fair play award||China PR|
The 2004 AFC Asian Cup was the 13th edition of the men's AFC Asian Cup, a quadrennial international football tournament organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). It was held from 17 July to 7 August 2004 in China. The defending champions Japan defeated China in the final in Beijing.
The tournament was marked by Saudi Arabia's unexpected failure to even make it out of the first round; a surprisingly good performance by Bahrain, which finished in fourth place; Jordan, which reached the quarterfinals in its first appearance and Indonesia, which gained their historical first Asian Cup win against Qatar. The final match between China and Japan was marked by post-match rioting by Chinese fans near the north gate of Beijing Workers' Stadium, in part due to controversial officiating and anti-Japanese sentiment resulting from historical tensions.
|Workers' Stadium||Chongqing Olympic Sports Center||Shandong Sports Center||Chengdu Longquanyi Football Stadium|
|Capacity: 66,161||Capacity: 58,680||Capacity: 27,333||Capacity: 30,800|
Main article: 2004 AFC Asian Cup qualification
The lowest-ranked 20 teams were placed in 6 preliminary qualifying groups of 3 and one group of 2, with the group winners joining the remaining 21 teams in 7 groups of 4. The top two of each of these groups qualified for the finals in China.
|Country||Qualified as||Date qualification was secured||Previous appearances in tournament1, 2|
|China PR||Hosts||28 October 2000||7 (1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000)|
|Japan||2000 AFC Asian Cup winners||26 October 2000||4 (1988, 1992, 1996, 2000)|
|Kuwait||Qualifying round Group B winners||5 October 2003||7 (1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1996, 2000)|
|Saudi Arabia||Qualifying round Group C winners||15 October 2003||5 (1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000)|
|Indonesia||Qualifying round Group C runners-up||15 October 2003||2 (1996, 2000)|
|Oman||Qualifying round Group E winners||21 October 2003||0 (Debut)|
|Iraq||Qualifying round Group F winners||22 October 2003||4 (1972, 1976, 1996, 2000)|
|Bahrain||Qualifying round Group F runners-up||22 October 2003||1 (1988)|
|South Korea||Qualifying round Group D runners-up||24 October 2003||9 (1956, 1960, 1964, 1972, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1996, 2000)|
|Jordan||Qualifying round Group D runners-up||18 November 2003||0 (Debut)|
|United Arab Emirates||Qualifying round Group G runners-up||18 November 2003||5 (1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996)|
|Uzbekistan||Qualifying round Group A winners||19 November 2003||2 (1996, 2000)|
|Qatar||Qualifying round Group B runners-up||19 November 2003||5 (1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 2000)|
|Iran||Qualifying round Group D winners||19 November 2003||9 (1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000)|
|Thailand||Qualifying round Group A runners-up||21 November 2003||4 (1972, 1992, 1996, 2000)|
|Turkmenistan||Qualifying round Group G winners||28 November 2003||0 (Debut)|
|Pot A||Pot B||Pot C||Pot D|
For a list of all squads that played in the final tournament, see 2004 AFC Asian Cup squads.
This competition saw a huge number of surprises. The first surprise named Bahrain was in group A, which, despite being just its second tournament, held on China and fellow neighbor Qatar before beating Indonesia 3–1, with the Hubail's brothers Mohamed and Ala'a instrumental in bringing Bahrain to the quarter-finals. Host China, after a shock draw to Bahrain, easily progressed to the next round after thrashing Indonesia 5–0 before Xu Yunlong scored the decisive goal in China's hard fought win over Qatar to process.
In group B, Jordan emerged as a second surprise, as the country just made its debut in the competition. Jordan surprised the whole tournament by two draws to the United Arab Emirates and, especially, a successful goalless draw to South Korea which had already finished in fourth place at the 2002 FIFA World Cup earlier, between that, Jordan shocked Kuwait with two late goals to seal a 2–0 victory, thus finishing second and progressed to the next round alongside South Korea, which, after being held by Jordan, decisively beat Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates to progress.
The two other debutants were Turkmenistan and Oman in group C and D surprised by not finishing bottom in their group, though they failed to progress. Instead, it was the two experienced Saudi Arabia and Thailand which disappointed most of fans, finishing bottom after disastrous performances. In group C, Uzbekistan also surprised by topping the group with three straight 1–0 win while Japan and Iran were able to progress in group D after a final goalless draw and better result than Oman. Iraq was the other qualifier in group C, after beating both Turkmenistan and Saudi Arabia only by one goal margin.
The quarter-finals saw Jordan caused significant problem for Japan, and Jordan was thought to have almost qualified for the semi-finals in the penalty shootout. However, four straight misses later cost Jordan's semi-final dream to end. Uzbekistan and Bahrain held on in a 2–2 draw and Bahrain prevailed after penalty shootout. Host China easily crushed Iraq 3–0, with Zheng Zhi scored two penalties to take Iraq home, while South Korea and Iran created the most phenomenon match in the tournament, an insane thriller where Iran prevailed 4–3 in what would be perceived as the greatest Asian Cup match in the history.
The first semi-final saw Iran and host China battling for the final, with both being held 1–1, despite Iran was down to ten men. China eventually won in penalty shootout. The other semi-final was another insane thriller between Bahrain and Japan, with the Japanese won after extra times thanked for a goal by Keiji Tamada in early minutes of the first half of extra times, thus sent Japan to the final against host China. Iran overcame Bahrain in a consolidating third place encounter, 4–2, to acquire bronze.
The final in Beijing saw China lost to Japan, with a controversial handball goal by Koji Nakata that sealed the game. The win meant Japan had successfully defended their title they achieved four years ago. The outcome frustrated many Chinese supporters, who ended up rioting outside Workers' Stadium over referee's controversial decision allowing the handball goal of Koji Nakata.
All times are China standard time (UTC+8)
|1||China PR (H)||3||2||1||0||8||2||+6||7||Advance to knockout stage|
|Zheng Zhi 58' (pen.)
Li Jinyu 66'
|Report||M. Hubail 41'
|M. Mohamed 83'||Report||Budi 26'
|M. Hubail 90+1'||Report||Rizik 59' (pen.)|
|Report||Shao Jiayi 25', 66'
Hao Haidong 40'
Li Ming 51'
Li Yi 80'
|Xu Yunlong 77'||Report|
A. Hubail 57'
|1||South Korea||3||2||1||0||6||0||+6||7||Advance to knockout stage|
|4||United Arab Emirates||3||0||1||2||1||5||−4||1|
|Kuwait||3–1||United Arab Emirates|
|B. Abdullah 24'
Al-Mutawa 39' (pen.)
Saeed 45' (og)
|United Arab Emirates||0–2||South Korea|
|Report||Lee Dong-gook 41'
Ahn Jung-hwan 90+1'
|Jordan||0–0||United Arab Emirates|
|Lee Dong-gook 25', 41'
Cha Du-ri 45+1'
Ahn Jung-hwan 75'
|1||Uzbekistan||3||3||0||0||3||0||+3||9||Advance to knockout stage|
|Al-Qahtani 9' (pen.), 59'||Report||N. Bayramov 6'
|V. Bayramov 14'
|Report||H. M. Mohammed 12'
|Al-Montashari 57'||Report||Akram 51'
|1||Japan||3||2||1||0||5||1||+4||7||Advance to knockout stage|
Daei 86' (pen.)
|Al-Hosni 31', 40'||Report||Karimi 61'
|Sutee 12'||Report||Nakamura 21'
Nakazawa 57', 87'
|Rangsan 15' (o.g.)
All times are China standard time (UTC+8)
|30 July – Beijing|
|3 August – Beijing|
|China PR (pen.)||1 (4)|
|31 July – Jinan|
|7 August – Beijing|
|30 July – Chengdu|
|3 August – Jinan|
|Bahrain (pen.)||2 (4)|
|31 July – Chongqing|
|Japan (a.e.t.)||4||Third place|
|Japan (pen.)||1 (4)|
|6 August – Beijing|
|Report||A. Hubail 71', 76'|
|Hao Haidong 8'
Zheng Zhi 81' (pen.), 90+2' (pen.)
|Suzuki 14'||Report||Shelbaieh 11'|
|4–3|| Abu Zema
|Seol Ki-hyeon 16'
Lee Dong-gook 25'
Kim Nam-il 68'
|Report||Karimi 10', 20', 77'
Park Jin-seop 51' (o.g.)
|A. Hubail 7', 71'
Tamada 55', 93'
|China PR||1–1 (a.e.t.)||Iran|
|Shao Jiayi 18'||Report||Alavi 38'|
Daei 80' (pen.), 90'
Main article: 2004 AFC Asian Cup Final
With five goals, A'ala Hubail and Ali Karimi are the top scorers in the tournament. In total, 96 goals were scored by 58 different players, with two of them credited as own goals.
Most Valuable Player
Fair Play Award
Team of the Tournament
|5||Uzbekistan||4||3||1||0||5||2||+3||10||.875||Eliminated in the quarterfinals|
|9||Oman||3||1||1||1||4||3||+1||4||.500||Eliminated in the first stage|
|15||United Arab Emirates||3||0||1||2||1||5||−4||1||.167|
Like other sports events, the Asian Cup 2004 was publicised as evidence of China's economic and athletic progress, being referred to by some as a prelude to the 2008 Summer Olympics. Many Chinese see the tournament as a success and take great pride in having showcased such an important sporting event in advance of the Olympic Games. However, the Japanese media and many other international observers have pointed out bad manners on the part of Chinese fans, and sparse attendance at the tournament, raising questions on China's ability to hold such sporting events.
Throughout the tournament, most Chinese fans in the stadia expressed anti-Japanese sentiments by drowning out the Japanese national anthem, displaying political banners and booing whenever Japan got the ball, regardless of the score or opponent. This was reported by the international media, and was aggravated when Koji Nakata apparently knocked in the ball with his right hand in the final against China. The PRC government responded by calling for restraint and increasing police numbers to maintain order. The Japanese government also called on the PRC to ensure the safety of Japanese fans, while specifically asking Japanese nationals or people of Japanese origin to not display any form of excessive pride, especially wearing Japan national football team uniforms. Despite the Chinese government's campaign, a riot started by Chinese fans broke out near the north gate of the Workers' Stadium, though reports differ as to the extent of the riot. As a result, some media groups have said that displays of "excessive Chinese nationalism during the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics have become a cause for concern for Chinese officials".