Tashkent: The AFC U20 Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan 2023 kicks off on Wednesday with 16 teams aiming for the title.
The erstwhile U-19 championship, returning under its new U-20 brand, will also serve as the qualifiers for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Indonesia 2023, which is scheduled to be held from May 20 to June 11.
Saudi Arabia will be aiming to defend the title won in 2018, with the remaining 15 teams also fancying their chances so join the-AFC.com as we take a look at the cast, with the group stage matches to be played in Tashkent and Fergana and the final scheduled for March 18.
Doha: Michael Olunga was the hero with both goals but the Kenyan striker paid tribute to his teammates after Al Duhail SC defeated Al Shabab FC 2-1 to advance to the AFC Champions League™ semi-finals for the first time on Thursday.
After a tight first half which saw both teams exchanging blows, Olunga scored in the 77th and 85th minutes to all but secure Qatar’s Al Duhail their place in the semi-final, with Saudi Arabia’s Al Shabab netting a consolation through Saeed Al Rubaei in added time.
Olunga, the 2021 AFC Champions League topscorer, was deservingly named Player-of-the-Match but the striker said it was team effort which took Al Duhail through.
Al Wakrah: Ramon Diaz applauded his players for their commitment and passion after Al Hilal SFC defeated Foolad Khouzestan FC 1-0 to advance to the AFC Champions League™ 2022 (West) semi-final on Thursday.
Moussa Marega’s 87th minute winner took Al Hilal into a semi-final meeting with Qatar’s Al Duhail SC on Sunday and Diaz said the players deserved the victory against a resilient Foolad.
Rajabi applauds Foolad players for fighting till the end
Al Wakrah: Foolad Khouzestan FC were able to neutralise Al Hilal SFC’s change in tactics but head coach Hamidreza Rajabi admitted that his side were eventually overpowered by the defending AFC Champions League™ holders in their quarter-final tie on Thursday.
After a first half which saw Islamic Republic of Iran’s Foolad come close three times, defending champions Al Hilal took control of the second period with Moussa Marega striking three minutes from the end to take the Saudi Pro League side into yet another continental semi-final.
Doha: Vicente Moreno was left to rue his team’s squandered opportunities as Al Shabab FC exited the AFC Champions League™ 2022 on Thursday.
The Saudi Arabia side had several chances, especially in the first half, but their failure to convert cost them dearly as Qatar’s Al Duhail SC registered a 2-1 win to advance to the AFC Champions League semi-finals for the first time.