Iran 1 Thailand 0

A last-minute goal by Javad Nekounam allowed Iran to put the Thai team out of its misery last night as the Land of Smilers went down 1-0. That will be the end of the Asian Cup campaign for another cycle and probably marks the beginning of the end of the managerial tenure of Bryan ‘Robbo’ Robson – who was always a curious choice and who may now find out some more about working in Thailand.

No doubt there are some who will be able to take comfort from the fact that Singapore have also been eliminated, after being beaten 2-1 by Jordan, who thereby take the second place in the group. Taking a broader view, it is disappointing that ASEAN football is failing to make much progress and is increasingly overshadowed by East and West Asian countries and, these days, by emergent Central Asian (former Soviet) states, especially since some of them seem to have money to invest in their leading clubs.