World Cup 2014: Asian sides have failed miserably

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Rio de Janeiro, June 26: Like for many heavyweight European sides, the World Cup of 2014 has been a forgettable affair for the Asian continent as well. Not a single team from Asia could qualify for the second round in this edition being held in Brazil, something which has happened for the first time since 1998.

[Read: 'Asian officials copy Europe and the gap gets bigger']

However, while no Asian team has won a single match (till the South Korea-Belgium game) in this World Cup, Iran had won at least one game in 1998 when they beat the USA 2-1.

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Four teams qualified from Asian for the World Cup this time and each one of them finished last in their respective groups.

Placed with defenders Spain, last year's runners-up Netherlands and Chile in Group B, Australia (Fifa ranking 62) lost all the matches to end up at the bottom of the table. They lost 1-3 to Chile, 2-3 to the Netherlands and 0-3 to a hapless Spain.

The only match in which the Australians could put up a fight was against the Dutch with whom they had once taken a 2-1 lead only to lose it from there. Australia have played in four World Cups and could make the last 16 only once, in 2006.

Japan (Fifa ranking 46) had a good start to their World Cup campaign when they took an early lead against a strong Ivory Coast in Group C but things crumbled for the Samurai Blues from there on. They lost 1-2 to Ivory Coast and drew 0-0 with Greece before receiving a serious 1-4 drubbing by a cruising Colombia. Japan, like Iran, also ended with one point. Japan have played in World Cups and could make the last 16 twice, in 2002 and 2010.

None of the Asian sides qualified for Round 2, the first time since 1998

Iran (Fifa ranking 43) also finished last in Group F after they earned just one draw in three matches. The Iranians couldn't even score a goal till about the 82nd minute of their final match of the tournament, which shows how much they have struggled with top sides.

The only time they earned praise was against Argentina who they allowed to win by a solitary goal. Iran's other scores were a 0-0 draw with Nigeria and a 1-3 loss to debutantes Bosnia and Herzegovina. Iran have played in four World cup finals but never could make it to the second stage.

South Korea (Fifa ranking 55) are the most consistent Asian side in the World Cup with nine appearances. They even finished in the top four in 2002, the year they were the co-hosts of the tournament along with Japan. But this time in Brazil, the South Koreans haven't succeeded to produce the same magic.

Like Japan, they too scored first in their first game but couldn't maintain the lead and drew the game 1-1 with Russia. In the second match, the Koreans were hammered 2-4 by a clinical Algeria. The side also ended at the bottom of Group H with losses against Algeria and even a 10-men Belgium.

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