Duan disappointed after China PR's goalless campaign
Songkhla: China PR attacking midfielder Duan Liuyu revealed his regret at his side’s goalless AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 campaign, which concluded with a 1-0 loss to Islamic Republic of Iran on Wednesday.
A return to the Olympics for the first time since 2008 had been China’s dream, but a group including Iran, Korea Republic and Uzbekistan proved a bridge too far for Duan’s side, who lost all three matches.
Nicknamed ‘Glasses Striker’ by fans in his homeland, it had been very much in Duan’s 2020 vision to be lining up at the Tokyo Olympics this summer, but the promising 21-year-old said the tournament proved to be one to forget for China.
Group C - MD3: IR Iran's run ends despite win over China PR
Songkhla: Islamic Republic of Iran were eliminated from the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 title race despite a 1-0 win over China PR at Tinsulanon Stadium on Wednesday.
After wasting a string of chances, Iran finally took the lead through Omid Noorafkan’s 87th minute penalty, but it wasn’t enough to extend their stay in the competition, with Uzbekistan advancing on goal difference despite their 2-1 loss to Korea Republic in Pathum Thani
While Iran claimed a somewhat hollow first win of the competition, China PR’s defeat meant they finished Group C without a point or goal after three matches.
Uzbekistan’s Olympic dream still alive, says delighted Drulovic
Bangkok: Head coach Ljubinko Drulovic believes Uzbekistan’s dream of qualifying for the Olympics is well and truly alive after a 2-1 defeat to Korea Republic on Wednesday still proved enough for them to qualify for the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 quarter-finals.
Behind to Oh Se-hun’s fifth minute goal, reigning champions Uzbekistan replied through a Bobir Abdixolikov header only for Oh to seal all three points for the Koreans courtesy of his second goal of the game with 19 minutes of the Group C encounter remaining.
While Korea Republic progressed as group winners, the result also saw second-placed Uzbekistan advance through to the knockout phase and, in the process, maintain their bid to reach this year’s Olympics in Tokyo.
Group C - MD3: Uzbekistan through despite defeat to Korea Republic
Bangkok: Reigning champions Uzbekistan confirmed their spot in the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 quarter-finals on Wednesday despite a narrow 2-1 defeat to an already-qualified Korea Republic.
Beaten by a brace from striker Oh Se-hun, Uzbekistan nevertheless marched into the last eight on goal difference after nearest rivals Islamic Republic of Iran could only beat China PR 1-0 in the group’s other game.
The result saw Uzbekistan finish second in Group C, while Korea Republic claimed top spot following three successive victories.
One step at a time for Saudi Arabia as Olympics beckon
Bangkok: Head coach Saad Alshehri believes Saudi Arabia have achieved nothing yet despite his side securing their place in the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 quarter-finals on Wednesday.
Feras Al Birakan’s 80th minute goal in a 1-0 win over regional rivals Syria - who also qualified - saw Saudi Arabia top the Group B standings and head into the next round having won two of their three group stage fixtures.
Although delighted to have guided Saudi Arabia through to the last eight, Alshehri is adamant that there is more work to be done if the West Asians are to realise their ambition of qualifying for this year’s Olympics.
Bangkok: Vietnam head coach Park Hang-seo wants to end his side’s group stage on a high even as they know their fate is out of their hands ahead of their final AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 Group D fixture against DPR Korea on Thursday.
Vietnam travelled to Bangkok for their last group game in the knowledge that should UAE and Jordan play out a score draw, the outcome of their game against already-eliminated DPR Korea would be rendered irrelevant and the 2018 runners-up would exit at the first stage.
Buriram: UAE head coach Maciej Skorza is focused on recovery ahead of his side’s decisive AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 Group D clash against Jordan on Thursday.
The Whites currently top the group with four points from a goalless draw against Vietnam and a 2-0 victory over DPR Korea, meaning a point against Jordan is all they need to advance to the quarter-finals.