Group A: Indonesia stay in the hunt with triumph over Syria
Tashkent: Hokky Caraka’s goal of the tournament contender saw Indonesia pull themselves back into the battle for a place in the knockout rounds of the AFC U20 Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan 2023 as Shin Tae-yong’s side defeated Syria 1-0 at Lokomotiv Stadium on Saturday.
Caraka’s 35th minute solo strike ensured the Indonesians bounced back from the disappointment of their opening Group A loss against Iraq and keeps the FIFA U20 World Cup hosts in contention for a place in the quarter-finals.
The performance was an improved showing from the Garuda Muda, who shaded a tight first half that featured few scoring opportunities until Caraka’s determination and quality finish delivered what turned out to be the game’s only goal.
Group B: Australia beat IR Iran to get back on track
Fergana: Australia held off a late fightback from Islamic Republic of Iran to win 3-2, reviving their hopes of advancing from Group B of the AFC U20 AFC Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan 2023 on Saturday.
The win means Australia are back in the race for a quarter-final spot after having lost their opener to Vietnam while Iran’s defeat means they will have to do it the hard after failing to build on their victory against Qatar.
Tashkent: David Gordo’s Oman are set to stick with their playing style despite their heavy opening match defeat against Korea Republic as they look to bounce back when they face Tajikistan in Group C of the AFC U20 Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan 2023 on Sunday.
Gordo set up his team to build-up from the back with a series of short passes, a style of play popularised in recent years by Spanish tacticians such as Pep Guardiola, but the Omanis were unable to work their way around the Korean high press.
Tashkent: Jordan coach Islam Al Diabat is hoping his team can utilise their usual style of play when they face Korea Republic in Group C of the AFC U20 Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan 2023 on Sunday after being forced to abandon their original plans to grind out a 2-0 win over Tajikistan.
Baker Kamal Kalbouneh’s sending off in the opening seconds of the Jordanians’ meeting with the Central Asian side forced Al Diabat’s side to play almost the entire game with 10 men and adopt a more pragmatic approach as a result.
Hard-fought victory pleases Saudi Arabia’s Al Mohammedi
Tashkent: Saudi Arabia should always be there or thereabouts when it comes to competition for the AFC U20 Asian Cup™ 2023 Uzbekistan title according to head coach Saleh Al Mohammedi.
Three-time champions, most recently in the last edition in 2018, the young Green Falcons started their 2023 campaign with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Kyrgyz Republic on Friday, thanks to a penalty won and converted by Abdullah Radif early in the second half.
Half-time pep talk fuelled Japan's comeback, says Togashi
Tashkent: Head coach Koichi Togashi said his halftime demand that Japan increase the tempo of their attacking play had paid dividends on Friday as the Samurai Blue fought back to secure a 2-1 win over China PR at the AFC U20 Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan 2023.
Naoki Kumata came off the bench to score twice in four second half minutes for the Japanese to cancel out Hayato Tanaka’s sixth minute own goal and earn Togashi’s side a hard-fought opening day win over their East Asian neighbours in Group D.
Tashkent: Within the first 10 seconds of the referee’s first blow of the whistle, Jordan managed to find themselves one player short in their AFC U20 Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan 2023 Group C opener against Tajikistan on Thursday.
But before the match reached its 30-minute mark, the West Asian side had made amends through goals from Ali Ahmad Azaizeh and Sief Addeen Darwish as they went on to seal a 2-0 win at the Lokomotiv Stadium in Tashkent.