Asian Cup Diary – Day 6: ‘Australian Cup’ and ball boys

As a journalist there is nothing more exciting than receiving your media pack in the build-up to a tournament.

The closest thing to that level of excitement is one of those epic Crazy Bones showbags - only better.

Among all of the free USB sticks, data books and tournament souvenirs was the media guide. Now, The Diary very rarely reads intros, T&Cs and disclaimers (potentially a fatal flaw), but what Frank Lowy, football supremo and chairman of the Local Organising Committee, wrote was truly inspiring.

“The media plays a critical role in telling the story of this great and historic event,” he wrote. “You will help us paint the picture of the action on the pitch for those who could not be at the games.”

Sure enough the media has stoked Socceroos fever.

“UP FOUR GRABS” read the back page of the oft-punny Daily Telegraph.

“ROOS SHOW A GULF IN CLASS” – another of those headlines which, yet again paint the picture of Socceroos success.

It all seems a little overdone. Something The Diary is guilty of as well. Sure, the Socceroos played some outstanding football but the hype surrounding the 4-1 and 4-0 wins suggest the job is complete, forgetting that there's still South Korea, and potentially better opponents who stand in the way of glory.

It’s the Asian Cup, not the Australian Cup.

Still there is plenty of good news.

The ABC recorded 500,000 viewers for their two-hour delayed screening, helping the national broadcaster to record-high ratings.

Elsewhere, a giant has awoken and China’s ‘luck’ in the Asian Cup continues.

Luck? We all remember that penalty incident.

It seems that the same ball boy, who helped Wang Dalei save the penalty against Saudi Arabia, was back on shift when China took on Uzbekistan last night.

They were unlucky when Odil Ahmedov scored off a deflection from outside the box, but two second-half crackers saw China through.

The Diary can confirm that Luck was named man of the match. Either that, or China have seemingly made Brisbane their fortress. And with such a vocal active support group, why wouldn’t they make it home.

The news isn’t so good for minnows North Korea who are now officially out of the tournament after falling 4-1 to Saudi Arabia and despite securing a large following from football neutrals (and hipsters).

Even The Diary - a Socceroos tragic - has enjoyed a share of good luck. After abitrarily picking China in the Asian Cup's ‘Adopt a Second Team initiative’ the tournament is looking pretty rosy. Both teams are on fire, and expect it to continue!