Bangkok: Mohamed Qasim struck for the second game in a row as he came off the bench once again to earn Iraq a point as Abdulghani Shahad’s side twice came back from going behind to earn a 2-2 draw with Bahrain in Group A of the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 on Saturday.
Qasim had netted against Australia in Iraq’s opening game to secure a draw and he did the same again – but in more dramatic fashion – when he denied Bahrain all three points with an injury time header at Thammasat Stadium.
Mohamed Marhoon looked to have secured Bahrain the win when he put Bahrain in front for the second time in the game three minutes from time with a diving header as the game exploded into life in the dying minutes.
Bangkok: Qatar head coach Felix Sanchez has urged his players to put aside the late heartbreak they suffered against Syria and focus on winning all three points when they face table-topping Saudi Arabia in Group B of the AFC U23 Championship on Sunday.
After racing into a two-goal lead within the first 22 minutes of their campaign opener, Qatar were eventually forced to settle for a 2-2 draw after Alaa Aldin Dali struck deep into stoppage time to earn his side a share of the spoils.
Despite the last gasp disappointment, Sanchez believes the result will have little or no bearing on proceedings when they face a Saudi side who began their title bid with a win over Japan.
Songkhla: Islamic Republic of Iran head coach Hamid Estili believes his side will arrive for Sunday’s AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 clash with Korea Republic armed with all the information they need to get a positive result.
Having impressed in a 1-1 draw against defending champions Uzbekistan on Thursday, Team Melli Omid can take a major step towards the knockout stage as well as their ultimate goal of a first Olympic football qualification since 1976, with a win against the Koreans.
In stark contrast to Iran’s Olympic drought, Korea Republic haven’t missed out on the Games since 1984, but Estili is confident his staff have pinpointed a path to victory at Tinsulanon Stadium.
Al Naimat will come good, says Jordan’s Abu Ismael
Buriram: Striker Yazan Al Naimat will recover from missing two clear-cut chances in Jordan’s opening match of the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020, according to head coach Ahmed Abu Ismael.
The 20-year-old striker contributed to Friday's 2-1 Group D victory by winning the penalty kick which was converted by Mohammed Bani Atieh in the first half, but Al Naimat could have done a lot better when one-on-one against DPR Korea goalkeeper Kang Ju-hyuk on two occasions.
Buriram: Runners-up from 2018, Vietnam need to improve certain aspects of their play if they are to go far this time around. That is the message from head coach Park Hang-seo after his side started their AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 campaign with a 0-0 draw against the UAE on Friday.
Nguyen Quang Hai came close on a couple of occasions for Vietnam and Nguyen Tien Linh was denied a winner at the death by the Emirati goalkeeper as Park’s side settled for a point at Buriram Stadium.
Half-time pep talk, changes spurred comeback, says Syria’s Barakat
Bangkok: Abdul Rahman Barakat has revealed that head coach Ayman Hakeem’s half-time pep talk and changes sparked Syria’s dramatic comeback against Qatar in their AFC U23 Championship Group B opener on Thursday.
Syria fought back for a 2-2 draw after Qatar, who finished third in the 2018 edition, had taken a 2-0 lead after just 21 minutes at the Thammasat Stadium.
Barakat reduced the deficit in the 31st minute and Hakeem’s tweaking and pep talk at half time saw Alaa Aldin Dali equalising for Syria in added time.
Songkhla: Wonderkid Allahyar Sayyadmanesh revealed his frustration after Islamic Republic of Iran emerged from a strong performance against defending AFC U23 champions Uzbekistan with a 1-1 draw in their Group C opener on Thursday.
The 18-year-old forward was part of an Iranian attacking unit which produced 16 shots on goal but spurned several scoring opportunities as Hamid Estili’s side were forced to settle for a one point instead of three at Tinsulanon Stadium.
With Sayyadmanesh often serving as the creator, Team Melli Omid crafted clear cut chances both before and after Islomjon Kobilov’s penalty gave Uzbekistan a 40th minute lead, but only Reza Dehghani’s equaliser 13 minutes after half time brought reward for their endeavour.