Bangkok: Australia secured one of the two places available in the quarter-finals of the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 from Group A on Tuesday as Ramy Najjarine’s goal helped Graham Arnold’s side earn a 1-1 draw with Bahrain at Thammasat Stadium.
Mohamed Marhoon cancelled out Najjarine’s 34th minute opener with a fine free-kick in first half injury time, but it was not enough to deny the Olyroos a place in the next round or to help Bahrain towards the win they needed to stay in the competition.
The result means the Australians keep alive their hopes of a place at the Olympic Games for the first time since 2008, with the first three finishers in this year’s competition earning tickets to Tokyo 2020, while Bahrain go home.
Bangkok: Thailand booked their place in the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 quarter-finals on Tuesday as Jaroensak Wonggorn’s first-half penalty laid the foundation for a 1-1 draw with Iraq which saw the Southeast Asians finish second in Group A.
While the result sent a jubilant Thailand through to the knockout phase of the Championship for the first time, it also signalled the end of Iraq’s title challenge as they exited the competition in the wake of three draws.
Akira Nishino’s charges, who qualified alongside table-topping Australia, will now meet the winners from Group B where Saudi Arabia, Syria and Qatar are all still in contention to advance.
Bangkok: Qatar head coach Felix Sanchez will lead his team into their final Group B meeting with already-eliminated Japan on Wednesday knowing they must secure a win to stand a chance of advancing to the quarter-finals of the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020.
Sanchez’s side have drawn both of their opening games – against Syria and Saudi Arabia – to sit in third place in the standings on two points, two points adrift of the leading duo with just one round of matches remaining.
With the Syrians and Saudi Arabia due to face each other at Thammasat Stadium, Qatar's hopes are hanging by a thread as should the other match end in a draw, the head-to-head record of the three teams will come into play.
Preview MD3 – Group C: Uzbekistan vs Korea Republic
Pathum Thani: Korea Republic were the first team to secure a place in the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 quarter-finals, but head coach Kim Hak-bum has warned there will be no room for complacency when they face defending champions Uzbekistan in their final Group C match on Wednesday.
The two sides have relocated from Songkhla to Pathum Thani, but Kim hopes his side’s results will remain the same after recording wins over China PR and Islamic Republic of Iran with vastly different starting line-ups.