Byline Banter: ACSX week 2

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The A-League is set to kick off again this weekend but with the Asian Cup quarterfinals set to start on Thursday night, it’s hard to shift focus. So with that in mind, The Asian Cup Stock Exchange (ACSX) is once again open for business.

However, we’re not Tom Waterhouse and unlike the national stock exchange where the stock is listed in prices, ours will be a rating out of 10 based on the likelihood of each nation taking out the title.

Group A

South Korea
Last trading: 8
Now trading: 8.5
Showed their hand against Australia and became the serious threats everyone expected after failing to really impress against Kuwait and Oman. Facing a quickly-improving Uzbekistan but should still make the semis

Australia
Last trading: 9
Now trading: 7.5
Campaign momentum was slightly derailed by the South Korea last Saturday and although the Socceroos were dangerous, they just couldn’t find the net. Still a serious threat to the title and the return of Mile Jedinak will be a timely boost for the match against China

Oman
SUSPENDED
Managed to beat Kuwait 1-0 in a lacklustre game to avoid finishing bottom; looked decent overall though.

Kuwait
SUSPENDED
Finished bottom of the group without a point to their name – disappointing campaign.

Group B

China
Last trading: 5
Now trading: 5.5
Surprise packet of the tournament so far and will have plenty of support against the Socceroos in Brisbane on Thursday night. But they’ll need big performance from the likes of Yu Hai and Gao Lin to get them across the line.

Uzbekistan
Last trading: 6
Now trading: 6
The White Wolves have improved as their campaign has motored on and will put in a good shift against South Korea, but it’s hard to see them getting much further.

Saudi Arabia
SUSPENDED
Will be disappointed not to qualify for playoffs.

North Korea
SUSPENDED
Bottomed the group but showed us something against China; can be pleased with their efforts.

Group C

United Arab Emirates
Last trading: 6
Now trading: 6.5
Only group defeat came at the hands of Iran and now face one of the big favourites in their quarterfinal match with Japan. But the game won’t be as open-and-shut as you might think – do you like a real roughie?

Iran
Last trading: 7
Now trading: 7.5
Flying under the radar in the group stage has played out well for the three-time champions, but if they get past Iraq then everyone will have their eyes on them.

Bahrain
SUSPENDED
Victory over fellow struggles Qatar allowed them to avoid being bottom; never looked like qualifying.

Qatar
SUSPENDED
Also never looked like qualifying, but yeah, they deserve to host the World Cup.

Group D

Japan
Last trading: 9
Now trading: 9
Still the team to beat at this point, but UAE won’t be a pushover.

Iraq
Last trading: 2.5
Now trading: 5
This looks too much for them and Iran shouldn’t have a problem accounting for them in the quarters.

Jordan
SUSPENDED
Really should have been there in place of Iraq – disappointing.

Palestine
SUSPENDED
Sentimental favourites of the tournament and it’s been an absolute pleasure having them here. Welcome to come back anytime and they should be proud of their efforts.

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