Tashkent: The AFC U23 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2022™ kicks off in just over a week's time with the next generation of Asian stars to assemble in Tashkent and Qarshi.
The tournament has been the stepping stone for a number of talented players, with the likes of Vietnam’s Nguyen Quang Hai, Qatar star Almoez Ali and Uzbekistan’s Jasurbek Yakhshiboev all bursting into the limelight in the AFC U23 Asian Cup.
Uzbekistan 2022 will be the fifth edition of the Continental showpiece and as we gear up for top quality action on June 1-19, join the-AFC.com as we take a trip down memory lane and look at the Most Valuable Player winners from the previous championships.
Kuala Lumpur: The fifth edition of the AFC U23 Asian Cup™ is set to kick off in Uzbekistan on June 1 as 16 teams from across the continent converge on Tashkent and Qarshi with some of the hottest prospects in Asian football set to be on show.
Stars such as Takumi Minamino, Alireza Beiranvand, Hwang Hee-chan, Chanathip Songkrasin and Almoez Ali are among the big names to have featured in a competition that has delivered numerous magical moments over the years.
To whet the appetite ahead of one of the Asian Football Confederation’s showpiece tournaments, we look back at the previous editions of the AFC U23 Asian Cup.
Preview - Group A: Al Ansar (LBN) v Al Seeb Club (OMA)
Muscat: Head coach Boris Bunjak called on his Al Seeb players to keep their composure in front of goal if they are to defeat Al Ansar when the two sides lock horns on Matchday Three of the AFC Cup™ 2022 Group A on Tuesday.
The Omani side attempted 10 shots in their previous outing against Kuwait SC but were left frustrated by their own inability to convert them into goals as they fell to a 2-1 defeat.
Al Seeb still have a good chance of progressing to the knockout stage at the first time of asking, should they collect the three points against Al Ansar in the final game, while the top spot might be beyond their reach unless Kuwait SC drop points against Jableh in the other Tuesday fixture.
Muscat: Jableh SC assistant coach Ali Barakat wants his players to continue proving they are a match for other teams in Group A of the AFC Cup™ 2022 as they prepare to end their group stage campaign with a decisive clash against group leaders Kuwait SC on Tuesday.
Making their continental debut, Jableh SC bounced back from a 1-0 defeat at the hands of group hosts Al Seeb to overcome Lebanon’s Al Ansar with the same score thanks to Hussain Al Jwayed’s added time strike, helping them go into the final matchday with a chance of achieving historic qualification to the next round.
Preview - Group B: Dhofar Club (OMA) v Arabi SC (KUW)
Kuwait City: Arabi SC will not play if safe when they face Dhofar Club in their final AFC Cup™ 2022 Group B tie at the Kuwait Sports Club Stadium on Tuesday.
The hosts - having won their previous two matches - only need a point to confirm their spot in the West Zonal Semi-finals but head coach Ante Mise insisted victory was their only target against Oman's Dhofar Club.
Preview - Group B: Al Riffa (BHR) v Shabab Al Khalil (PLE)
Kuwait City: Head coach Ali Ashoor wants a tight defensive display when Al Riffa bid to keep their AFC Cup™ 2022 hopes alive in their final Group B clash against Shabab Al Khalil on Tuesday.
Al Riffa sit on three points from two matches but Ashoor admitted the five goals they have conceded have surprised him, with the Bahrain side needing victory against Palestine's Shabab Al Khalil to stay in the competition.
Preview - Group D: Maziya Sports & Recreation (MDV) v ATK Mohun Bagan (IND)
Kolkata: Both the Maziya Sports & Recreation and ATK Mohun Bagan FC head coaches expect their sides to battle through fatigue and impress in their last-ditch effort for top spot in Group D of the AFC Cup™ 2022 on Tuesday.
The group swung wide open following Matchday Two that saw both Maziya and ATK Mohun Bagan reviving their campaigns with wins over Gokulam Kerala FC and Bashundhara Kings respectively.
All four teams sit equal on three points, and a win on Tuesday is crucial in the race for a top spot finish.