Tashkent: Three former champions and a side looking to lift the title for the first time will tussle it out in the semi-finals of the AFC U20 Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan 2023 following the conclusion of the quarter-finals on Sunday.
Japan and Korea Republic took their semi-finals places on Sunday, joining Iraq and hosts Uzbekistan who had booked their spots on Saturday.
Q-final: Second half Japan super show ends Jordan's run
Tashkent: Japan completed the quartet of the AFC U20 Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan 2023 semi-finalists after defeating Jordan 2-0 in the last quarter-final clash at Lokomotiv Stadium on Sunday.
The young Samurai Blue join hosts Uzbekistan, Korea Republic and their upcoming opponents Iraq in the final four, also joining the trio and hosts Indonesia as Asia’s five representatives in May’s FIFA U20 World Cup 2023.
Isa Sakamoto and Naoki Kumata struck in the second half as head coach Koichi Togashi’s men delivered an emphatic and confident performance on the wet surface.
Q-final: Extra-time surge powers Korea Republic past China PR
Tashkent: Korea Republic squeezed through to the semi-finals of the AFC U20 Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan 2023 on Sunday as Kim Eun-jung’s side came from a goal down to hand China PR a 3-1 extra-time defeat at JAR Stadium to also secure their place in the FIFA U20 World Cup Finals.
Sung Jin-young scored in the 100th minute after Kim Yong-hak’s 62nd minute penalty had cancelled out Mutalifu Yimingkari’s opener for the Chinese while Choi Seok-hyun put the result beyond any doubt seconds before the interval in the first period of extra-time.
The win means the Koreans will take on hosts Uzbekistan in the last four on Wednesday and victory in the semi-finals would keep the country on course for a record-extending 13th Asian title.
Khaydarov: Perfect plan led to Uzbekistan realising World Cup dream
Tashkent: Uzbekistan head coach Ravshan Khaydarov hailed his side’s qualification for the FIFA U20 World Cup Indonesia 2023 as a “dream come true” after handing Australia a penalty shootout defeat at Bunyodkor on Saturday to advance to the semi-finals of the AFC U20 Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan 2023.
Adrian Segicic’s miss in the final round of spot-kicks allowed captain Umarali Rakhmonaliev to hit the winner and earn Uzbekistan a 5-4 victory after the teams had played out a 1-1 draw over 120 minutes in front of a crowd of 33,494 fans.
The result means Uzbekistan will join hosts Indonesia as well as Iraq and two other qualifiers as Asia’s representatives at the FIFA U20 World Cup as the country secured a spot at the Finals for the first time since 2015.
This is the best goal of my career, says Iraq’s Jasim
Tashkent: Iraq winger Ali Jasim described his winning goal in added time of the AFC U20 Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan 2023 quarter-finals against Islamic Republic of Iran on Saturday as the highlight of his career so far.
With the two sides locked in a stalemate and the game at JAR Stadium looking destined for extra time, Jasim received the ball 30 yards from goal and dribbled his way into the Iranian 18-yard-box before applying the finish into the bottom corner to send his country into the FIFA U20 World Cup Indonesia 2023.
The young Lions of Mesopotamia’s triumph over their arch-rivals booked them a spot in the competition’s semi-final where they await the winners between Japan and Jordan.
Tashkent: Iraq head coach Emad Mohammed compared his joy with reaching the FIFA U20 World Cup Indonesia 2023 with the feeling he experienced when achieving the same success through the AFC U20 Asian Cup™ in Islamic Republic of Iran in 2000.
As a young player, Mohammed was amongst the scorers in the penalty shootout win against Iran in the semi-finals of the 2000 edition as the young Lions of Mesopotamia reached the final, in which he bagged a brace, including a golden goal, to lead Iraq to glory at the expense of Japan.
The triumph in Tehran led Iraq to the FIFA U20 World Cup in Argentina 2001, a feat they only managed to replicate once since then, in Turkey 2013, before Mohammed led his men to qualify to Indonesia 2023 from JAR Stadium on Saturday.