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Qualifiers- Group H: Korea Republic pip Australia to top spot


Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Korea Republic v Australia - 2020 AFC U23 Championship Qualifiers - 2

Phnom Penh: Korea Republic came back from two goals down to salvage a 2-2 draw against Australia in the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 Qualifiers tie on Tuesday to seal top spot in Group H, while Cambodia and Chinese Taipei ended their campaign with a 1-1 draw. 


KOREA REPUBLIC 2-2 AUSTRALIA

The match was intense from the referee's first blow of the whistle, as both teams knew that a win would mean qualification to the Finals.

With both teams on six points, Korea Republic had the advantage of a better goal difference which meant pressure on Australia to make up the difference and they did not disappoint.

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Sixteen minutes into the game, the Olyroos opened the scoring through Nicholas D'Agostino's effort, before the budding forward doubled his tally eight minutes later.

Runners-up in 2016, Korea Republic stuck to their gameplan and didn't take long before they reduced the deficit with Cho Young-wook finding the back of the net.

Korea Republic head coach Kim Hag-bum sent on Lee Dong-gyeong immediately after the break in an effort to find the equaliser, and the substitute made his impact on 63 minutes to bring the young Taeguk Warriors level.

Australia will now have to wait to see whether they advance as one of the four best second-placed teams.


CAMBODIA 1-1 CHINESE TAIPEI

It was a battle for pride at the National Olympic Stadium, as both Cambodia and Chinese Taipei were no longer in contention to make the Finals after losses to Korea Republic and Australia.

Cambodia started strongly in front of their home crowd and had more shots on target but couldn't beat goalkeeper Tuan Hsuan.

Their perseverance, however, was rewarded in the 40th minute when Cambodian forward Sin Kakada broke the deadlock with a left-footed strike.

Chinese Taipei returned in the second half more spirited and it took them just 12 minutes to find the equaliser through Philip Ponder's curling free-kick.

Chinese Taipei could have taken the lead through Ponder's effort in the 88th minute but Cambodia goalkeeper Saveng Samnang pulled out an impressive save, as the game ended on draw.

Photos: Football Federation of Cambodia

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