Tashkent: Victory may have eluded Iraq in their final AFC U20 Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan 2023 Group A match but that did little to prick Hayder Abdulkareem’s enthusiasm.
Abdulkareem had given Iraq the lead, only for Syria to strike in the final seconds to force a draw which, however, did not stop the young Lions of Mesopotamia from advancing to a quarter-final against Islamic Republic of Iran on Saturday.
It may well have ended differently had Abdulkareem not scored earlier, having also found the net in the win against Indonesia and the player can’t wait to lock horns with Iran, with the winners to confirm their place in the FIFA U20 World Cup Indonesia.
Tashkent: Iraq head coach Emad Mohammed was in a joyful mood after his side squeezed into the AFC U20 Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan 2023 quarter-finals following a 1-1 draw with Syria in their last match of Group A on Wednesday.
Despite a dominant performance, the Lions of Mesopotamia could only find the back of the net once at Lokomotiv Stadium through Hayder Abdulkareem’s second goal of the tournament. The midfielder headed in after Kadhim Raad’s initial header bounced off the crossbar and back into play, but Zakaria Al Ramadan drew Syria level in added time.
The draw was enough for Iraq to qualify to the next round, joining group winners Uzbekistan and pipping Indonesia to second place on head-to-head record.
Fergana: Abdolsamad Marfavi praised Islamic Republic of Iran’s unwavering mindset after his side advanced to the AFC U20 Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan 2023 quarter-finals following a 3-1 win over Vietnam on Tuesday.
Vietnam’s Khuat Van Khang canceled out Mohammad Hazbavi’s first half opener but goals from Saeid Saharkhizan and Mohammad Hosseinnezhad sealed Iran the win and top spot in Group B.
Iran came into the tie needing to bounce back from their 2-1 defeat to Australia on Matchday Two and Marfavi admitted that his side had to endure a very challenging match against their Southeast Asian opponents.
Uzbekistan primed for knockout stage, says Khaydarov
Fergana: Head coach Ravshan Khaydarov is looking forward to Uzbekistan’s knockout stage challenge after concluding their AFC U20 Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan 2023 Group A campaign with a goalless draw against Indonesia on Tuesday.
Despite the stalemate at the Istiqlol Stadium, Uzbekistan finished as group winners, while Iraq - who drew 1-1 against Syria - finished second ahead of Indonesia with Syria bottom.
Tashkent: Australia head coach Trevor Morgan believes “the momentum is building” for his Young Socceroos in their quest for the AFC U20 Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan 2023 title as they handed Qatar a 9-1 defeat to confirm their place in the quarter-finals.
Morgan’s side will face hosts Uzbekistan in the last eight on Saturday at Bunyodkor Stadium after a comprehensive win over the West Asian side secured second place in Group B for the Australians.
But while they eventually eased to a comfortable victory, it was Qatar who took an early lead when Moustafa Asar pounced on a defensive mistake to open the scoring inside two minutes.
It was the second time in three games that the Australians had conceded an early goal, having done so in their opening 1-0 loss against Vietnam in Fergana earlier in the tournament, but Morgan had been confident his team would find a way back into the game.
Tashkent: Jordan confirmed their place in the quarter-finals of the AFC U20 Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan 2023 after playing out a goalless draw with Oman at Lokomotiv Stadium on Wednesday.
The result means Jordan just about edged out Tajikistan into the next round thanks to a superior head-to-head record, with both teams having collected four points, while Korea Republic - who also settled for a stalemate against Tajikistan at Bunyodkor Stadium - topped Group C.
Group C: Korea Republic top group, Tajikistan bow out
Tashkent: Korea Republic secured their place in the quarter-finals of the AFC U20 Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan 2023 on Wednesday when they claimed top spot in Group C with a 0-0 draw against Tajikistan at Bunyodkor Stadium.
The Korean defence held firm for the third game in a row as Kim Eun-jung’s side ended the group phase without conceding a goal and finished ahead of Jordan, who also advanced to the last eight, with seven points.
Korea Republic will next take on the runners-up from Group D while the draw means Tajikistan exit the competition with four points due to their inferior head-to-head record with the Jordanians.
Tashkent: Saudi Arabia head coach Saleh Al Mohammedi has challenged his players to produce their best performance when they take on Japan in a do-or-die encounter on Matchday Three of the AFC U20 Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan on Thursday.
The young Green Falcons saw their qualification hopes suffer a blow after falling to a 2-0 defeat against China PR, leaving them to go into the final match against Group D leaders Japan with just three points to their name.
The defending champions will be in need of a victory at Lokomotiv Stadium, coupled with China PR failing to overcome Kyrgyz Republic on the other simultaneous kick-off at JAR Stadium if they are to advance to the next round.
Tashkent: Kyrgyz Republic head coach Maksim Lisitsyn called on his players to turn their potential into points as the Central Asians prepare to take on a China PR side chasing a place in the knockout rounds of the AFC U20 Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan 2023 at JAR Stadium on Thursday.
Lisitsyn’s side lost their opening games against both Saudi Arabia and Japan despite promising performances and the Russian coach wants his squad to enhance their instincts in front of goal having failed to find the target so far in the competition.
Kuala Lumpur: Wednesday's action of Round 1 of the AFC U20 Women’s Asian Cup™ 2024 Uzbekistan Qualifiers was a thrilling affair with high quality action and goals galore.
Round 1 features a total 28 teams with the eight group winners to progress to Round 2, where the four best sides will earn a spot in the Finals where they will join the three highest seeds from the AFC U-19 Women’s Championship Thailand 2019 - champions Japan, DPR Korea and Korea Republic - and host nation Uzbekistan.
Stay with the-AFC.com as the action unfolds over the coming days with matches to be played till Sunday.