Pathum Thani: When you challenge a teammate to a game of rock, paper, scissors to decide who takes a free-kick, it would be ideal to go on and score from it.
That was exactly what Ryunosuke Sato did on Thursday at the Thammasat Stadium as his precise 74th minute strike rounded off Japan’s 3-0 victory against Islamic Republic of Iran and sent them through to the final of the AFC U17 Asian Cup™ Thailand 2023.
Pathum Thani: Head coach Hossein Abdi was far from dismayed despite Islamic Republic of Iran's 3-0 defeat to Japan in their AFC U17 Asian Cup™ Thailand 2023 semi-final on Thursday.
Iran had to concede to Japan's superiority at the Thammasat Stadium with Abdi admitting some of his players were unable to focus after finding themselves 2-0 down going into the break but said the experience gained in the tournament would not only help them in the FIFA U17 World Cup Indonesia 2023 Finals but also in the progress of their careers.
Bengaluru: The semi-finals of the SAFF (South Asian Football Federation) Championship 2023 will take place on Saturday at Sree Kanteerava Stadium as the four remaining teams battle it out for a place in the showpiece event.
Kuwait edged hosts India to top Group A, while Lebanon finished ahead of Bangladesh in Group B to mean two nations from South Asia and this year's two guest countries from West Asia remain in the hunt for the title.
In what has been arguably the most captivating SAFF Championship in many a year, debutants Kuwait and Lebanon have impressed while neighbours India and Bangladesh aim to add to the titles they have previously won. The-AFC.com previews Saturday’s mouth-watering semi-final double-header.
Japan remain top in latest FIFA Men's World Ranking
Kuala Lumpur: Japan stayed unchanged at 20th to remain Asia's top side in the FIFA Men's World Ranking released on Thursday.
Australia are the only big movers as they climbed two spots to 27 to occupy third, bumping Korea Republic - who fell one rung down to 28th – as Asia's fourth highest team with the remaining top 10 staying unchanged.