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.
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.
Q-final: Penalty shootout win takes Uzbekistan through
Tashkent: Uzbekistan booked their place in the semi-finals of the AFC U20 Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan 2023 with a 5-4 penalty shootout win over Australia at Bunyodkor Stadium on Saturday with Ravshan Khaydarov’s side also securing a spot at the FIFA U20 World Cup in Indonesia later in the year.
Adrian Segicic’s penalty in the final round thumped back off the crossbar to leave Uzbekistan captain Umarali Rakhmonaliev to roll in the winning spot-kick for the home side after the game had ended in a 1-1 draw upon the completion of 120 minutes.
Gabriel Popovic had given the Australians the lead in the 76th minute before Zafarmurod Abdirakhmatov levelled three minutes later but with neither side able to score a second the game went to penalties, from where Uzbekistan advanced.