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World Cup highlights: Asia shamed with not a single win

( Updated: 2014-06-26 16:23

Asia shamed with not a single win

World Cup highlights: Asia shamed with not a single win

The four Asian contenders have failed to post a single victory in 11 games so far, heading for the continent's worst World Cup in 16 years.

Australia, Japan and Iran have all bowed out while South Korea still has to play its final match against Belgium. It appears only a matter of time before it too is eliminated.

The last embarrassment for the continent came in 1998 in France when Asia suffered a blank with all four representatives out and just a single victory for Iran. It could be even worse this time around.

"All four Asian teams are undergoing a transition from old to new", commented Gong Lei from CCTV, saying there are few good young players in the teams and they had played too conservatively.

Unlucky break for Babatunde

World Cup highlights: Asia shamed with not a single win

Nigeria midfielder Michel Babatunde was in the wrong place at the wrong time when a powerful shot by teammate Ogenyi Onazi hit him, breaking his arm during the 3-2 Group F defeat to Argentina on Wednesday.

Onazi looked set to score a 66th minute equalizer but his shot cannoned into Babatunde's arm, breaking it.

"He's going for surgery right now," coach Stephen Keshi said and it looks likely the injury will put an end to Babatunde's World Cup despite his side having qualified for the knockout stages.

Clubmates chase Golden Boot

World Cup highlights: Asia shamed with not a single win

The race for the World Cup Golden Boot turned into a Barcelona battle after Lionel Messi's two goals in their 3-2 win over Nigeria matched Neymar's tournament-leading four goals in three games for Brazil.

Xherdan Shaqiri also vaulted into contention by scoring a hat-trick as Switzerland beat Honduras 3-0 to qualify second in Group F. He joined the three-goal club with Dutch duo Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben, French forward Karim Benzema and Enner Valencia, who cannot add to his tally as 10-man Ecuador was eliminated from Group E after a goalless draw with France.

With his goals taking his overall tally to five (he scored once in 2006), Messi becomes his country's fifth top World Cup scorer, following Gabriel Batistuta (1994, 1998, 2002) 10, Guillermo Stabile (1930) and Diego Maradona (1982, 1986, 1994) eight and Mario Kempes (1978) six.

Messi Argentina's fifth top scorer at World Cup

Hard-up Ghana begs for prize money

World Cup highlights: Asia shamed with not a single win

Ghana's cash-strapped administrators have asked for an advance on the $8 million prize money guaranteed from the tournament to pay outstanding debts to players.

The Ghana Football Association said the problem had been resolved after intervention by Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama who had guaranteed players they would get their money by Wednesday afternoon, the GFA said.

But FIFA claims no decision has yet been made over any advance, saying Ghana's request was "under evaluation."

The row disrupted Ghana's preparations for its decisive Group G game against Portugal on Thursday, although midfielder Christian Atsu dismissed fears the team would boycott the match in Brasilia, which the Ghanaians must win to stand any chance of reaching the second round.

Prize money - which in Brazil ranges from $8 million for failing to progress from the group stage to $35 million for winning the title - is normally paid after the tournament.

Ghana requests World Cup prize money early

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