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jilong congratulate korea 3x2Ras Al Khaimah: AFC Acting President Zhang Jilong congratulated Korea Republic after the East Asians were crowned the champions of the AFC U-19 Championship following their 4-1 penalty shootout win over Iraq in the Saturday's final.


"I would like to congratulate Korea Republic and those working for football in Korea for their outstanding work ethic and teamwork, without which it would not be possible to win this title contested amongst the best 16 teams in Asia," said Jilong, pictured presenting the trophy to Korea Republic captain Lee Chang-geun.

"This is the record 12th title at this age category Korea Republic have won and I sincerely hope that there are more to come.

"The main highlight of this tournament was the balance of power between East and West of Asia which was clearly seen on today's competitive final with both the sides representing the two axis of Asian football.

"All the matches were very well contested and with traditional powerhouses like Japan, DPR Korea, Saudi Arabia and Iran being given strong challenges by other up-and-coming countries we can see that Asian football is getting increasingly competitive and unpredictable."

Jilong also wished the best for Asia's four representatives at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup, with Korea Republic, Iraq, Uzbekistan and Australia looking to do themselves, and the continent, proud at next year's global youth tournament in Turkey next year.

"I congratulate these countries for making it on to the world stage and sincerely hope that their participation will make Asian football proud and they would able to showcase our talent and the progress we have made in world football over the years.

"Also, I would also like to congratulate all the sixteen countries who came here and played brilliant competitive football. I personally enjoyed the final which could have gone either way."

The acting head of Asian football also paid tribute to the organisers of the event saying:

"We have organised seven main national and club competition finals this year and I would proudly say that the organisational operations in all those seven competitions have been fantastic. And in this competition, all the credit goes to the UAE FA and the Local Organising Committee for their efforts in making it a huge success."