Dynamic duo Lee, Jeong vow to steer Korea Republic to glory
Bangkok: Lee Sang-min and Jeong Tae-wook are counting on a partnership built over five years to power Korea Republic to glory in the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020.
The 2016 runners-up take on Saudi Arabia in the final at the Rajamangala Stadium on Sunday determined to lift the trophy after missing out in the three previous editions.
Kim Hak-bum’s side have impressed throughout the tournament, winning all five matches en route to the final and the defensive partnership of Lee and Jeong has played a pivotal role in Korea Republic’s campaign.
Kim gets it right again as Korea Republic close in on glory
Bangkok: Kim Hak-bum had prepared his players for a battle of attrition against Australia ahead of their successful showing against Graham Arnold’s side on Wednesday as Korea Republic booked their place in the final of the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020.
Goals from Kim Dae-won and Lee Dong-gyeong in the second half ensured the Koreans not only set up a meeting in the final with Saudi Arabia on Sunday but that the country’s remarkable record of qualifying for the Olympic Games remaining intact.
The Koreans have appeared at every Olympics since Seoul hosted the Games in 1988 and victory over the Olyroos ensures Kim’s side will be playing in Tokyo this summer alongside the Saudis and the winners of Saturday’s third place play-off between Australia and Uzbekistan. Hosts Japan will be Asia's fourth team at the Olympics.
Saudi Arabia eye trophy after Tokyo 2020 qualification
Bangkok: Head coach Saad Alshehri has declared that Saudi Arabia will do everything within their power to claim the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 crown after Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Uzbekistan saw them move into the final and, in the process, qualify for this year’s Olympic Games.
Nasser Al Omran’s late and wickedly deflected strike ultimately proved the difference on a night when Saudi Arabia advanced past an Uzbekistan side guilty of squandering several chances to progress themselves.
With a title showdown still to come against Korea Republic on Sunday, Alshehri has been quick to point out that, despite the euphoria surrounding his team’s Tokyo 2020 qualification, there remains work to be done in Bangkok.
Preview - 3rd Place Play-off: Uzbekistan counting on history to take them to Olympics
Bangkok: Captain Islomjon Kobilov is hoping history can repeat itself on Saturday when Uzbekistan take on Australia in the third place play-off at the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 as the two nations go head-to-head in the battle for the Continent’s final berth at the Olympic Games.
The two nations face off at Rajamangala Stadium having suffered defeat in the semi-finals and know this will be their last chance to book a ticket to Tokyo this summer.
Uzbekistan are aiming to qualify for the Olympic Games for the first time in their history and Kobilov will be looking for his teammates to repeat the win achieved by several of the squad over the Australians at the AFC U-19 Championship in Bahrain in 2016.
Preview - 3rd Place Play-off: Arnold calls for final push as Olympics beckon for Australia
Bangkok: Australia head coach Graham Arnold has called on his players to deliver one final stellar performance as the Olyroos prepare to face Uzbekistan in Saturday’s AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020’s third place play-off, the winners of which will be guaranteed a place at this year’s Olympic Games.
Despite losing to Korea Republic in the semi-finals, Australia remain on the cusp of qualifying for Tokyo 2020, progress which would be assured should they beat their counterparts from Central Asia at Bangkok’s Rajamangala Stadium.
Given what is at stake Arnold has, not surprisingly, wasted little time in asking his young charges to dig deep once more at a tournament where they claimed top spot in Group A before beating Syria in the last eight.