The first major international tournament of the year has moved onto the elimination stage, as eight teams have advanced out of their groups in the 2011 Asian Cup. There weren't a lot of upsets and the results went pretty much as Dave predicted. The notable exception was Saudi Arabia, who were unimpressive in consecutive 1-goal defeats to Syria and Jordan before collapsing with a 5-0 loss to Japan, leaving them without a point and heading home early.
The final stage begins tomorrow, in the wee hours of the morning local time. The most interesting matchup is probably between Japan — one of the two strongest sides in the tournament (along with Australia) — and hosts Qatar, who will need every bit of home field advantage their 20,000 or so fans in attendance will be able to give.
Also this weekend the US women will participate in the Four Nations Tournament in China as they begin their warmup to the World Cup this summer. They'll hope to get some solid momentum going after staggering into Cup qualification. They lost to Mexico in the semifinals of the Gold Cup, forcing them to beat Italy to qualify for the World Cup, which they did by a slim 2-0 aggregate.
The Four Nations Tournament has been kind to the US team. They've won 6 out the 7 times they've participated, only failing to lift the trophy in 2002 when it was won by longtime rivals Norway. This year's edition features the US, hosts China, World Cup host Germany, and perennial powers Sweden.
The first US match is versus Sweden and technically takes place tomorrow China time, but it'll still be tonight on the west coast — at 11:35PM. I can't find any broadcast coverage, so you may have to follow the results via the team's twitter feed at @ussoccer_wnt