Australia’s Gersbach determined to fulfil his Olympic dream
Bangkok: Alex Gersbach is hoping to be third time lucky as Australia prepare for their AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 quarter-final against Syria at the Rajamangala Stadium on Saturday.
Australia’s skipper is playing in the AFC U23 Championship for the third time but the knockout stage is uncharted territory for Gersbach and he is hoping it will be a journey which will end with the title as well as a place in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Bangkok: Head coach Graham Arnold believes Australia can take advantage of an extra day’s rest to book a place in the semi-finals of the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 when they face Syria at Rajamangala Stadium on Saturday.
The Olyroos sealed their place in the last eight as winners of Group A with a 1-1 draw against Bahrain on Tuesday to ensure Arnold’s team had additional recovery time ahead of their meeting with Ayman Hakeem’s side on Saturday.
“Our focus is just one game at a time,” said Arnold. “Our team has been improving in every game, from the first game to the game against Bahrain. I expect that tomorrow we will also have a great performance after the one extra day of recovery.”
Bangkok: Akira Nishino will delve deep into his coaching past for inspiration as he looks to lead hosts Thailand past Saudi Arabia and into the semi-finals of the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 at Thammasat Stadium on Saturday.
Nishino famously led his native Japan to the Finals of the Olympic Games in 1996, ending the country’s 28-year exile from the competition with a landmark victory over Saudi Arabia in the qualifying tournament for the Atlanta Olympiad in Kuala Lumpur.
Now, almost 24 years later, he comes face-to-face with the same opponents with designs on leading Thailand into the last four and a step closer to claiming one of the three tickets available for this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Bangkok: As the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 enters the knockout stage, the eight remaining teams will be targeting not just Continental glory but also the three tickets available to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Having survived a tough group campaign, the teams will be aiming to move one step closer to realising their dream of lifting the trophy and sealing berths in the Olympics.
Join the-AFC.com as we take a look at a key player from each team ahead of this weekend's quarter-finals.
Thailand 2020 - Vote for your Goal of the Group Stage
Bangkok: With the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 moving into the crucial knockout stage, we reflect on some of the best goals from the group stage and ask you the fans to select your favourite.
Long-range screamers, stunning free-kicks and superb team moves, the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 group stage saw goals from all angles and distances to delight lovers of Asian football across the Continent.
Arnold expects a stronger Australia in quarter-finals
Bangkok: A relieved Graham Arnold stressed his players needed to make significant improvements after Australia’s 1-1 draw with Bahrain on Tuesday evening earned the Olyroos top spot in Group A and a place in the quarter-finals of the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020.
The Australians will meet the runners-up from Group B in the last eight on Saturday after sharing the points with Bahrain, who exited the competition with two points from their three group matches.
Bangkok: Head coach Akira Nishino believes his Thailand players have proved themselves more than capable of competing with Asia’s finest after they reached the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 quarter-finals following Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Iraq.
Jaroensak Wonggorn’s first-half penalty ultimately proved enough for the Thais to advance to the last eight as runners-up in Group A following last week’s win over Bahrain and loss to table-topping Australia.
With Thailand now set to face the winners of Group B in the knockout phase, Nishino wasted little time in praising his charges after a night of high drama at the Rajamangala Stadium.