Kuala Lumpur: So often the nearly men of Asian football, having narrowly missed out on a place at the FIFA World Cup on several occasions, Uzbekistan enjoyed one of their finest footballing moments at the AFC U23 Championship China 2018.
A talented young side had claimed the AFC U-16 Championship title in 2012, but that was the only Continental trophy the Central Asians had lifted since joining the Asian Football Confederation in 1994.
Two years ago in Jiangsu, Ravshan Khadarov’s team began slowly before growing into the tournament. We look back how their march to a memorable title unfolded.
Kuala Lumpur: With the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 just a few weeks away, we look back at some of the finest goals the competition has seen since it kicked off in Oman in early 2014.
Featuring some of Asia's finest modern-day talent, including the 2018 AFC Player of the Year Abdelkarim Hassan, Japan's Shoya Nakajima and Vietnam's Nguyen Quang Hai, our selection offers the perfect way to whet your appetite ahead of the fourth edition of the tournament early next year.
After viewing the goals, tell us which is your favourite by casting your vote at the bottom of the article, before it ends on December 22, 14:30 hours (UTC +8).
Kuala Lumpur: With just 30 days to go until the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 kicks off, we reflect on some stand-out matches from the previous editions of the tournament and anticipate more exciting action to come in the next chapter in January.
The AFC U23 Championship, that began in 2014 as the AFC U-22 Championship, has been filled with fantastic fixtures and great games throughout the three editions of the tournament hosted so far in Oman, Qatar and China PR.
Here are five classics to enjoy and whet the appetite for the action to come at Thailand 2020.
2014 Flashback: Perfect Iraq clinch inaugural title
Kuala Lumpur: The AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 is just a few weeks away as another year of football across the Continent will kick off with one of the most highly anticipated competitions, in which qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is also up for grabs.
Holders Uzbekistan will be looking to repeat their feat from China two years ago while Japan are aiming to return to the form that saw them lift the AFC U23 Championship trophy in Qatar in 2016.
But, after initially being scheduled to take place in mid-2013, the inaugural edition of one of the newest competition’s in the AFC calendar came in 2014 when – as the then AFC U-22 Championship – Iraq conquered all before them in a tournament that saw a number of Asia’s modern-day stars play key roles.
Bughammar: Gulf Cup win gives us confidence for Thailand 2020
Manama: Bahrain defender Ahmed Bughammar has admitted that winning the Gulf Cup was the perfect preparation for next month’s AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 as the West Asian side prepare to make their debut in the competition.
Bughammar was one of several U-23 players that were part of the senior squad at the 24th Gulf Cup as Bahrain clinched their first-ever title with a 1-0 victory over Saudi Arabia in last Sunday’s final, having also won the WAFF (West Asian Football Federation) Championship earlier in the year.
Now, after winning all three of their qualifying games earlier in 2019 to advance to a maiden AFC U23 Championship, Bahrain can look forward to one of the most important competitions on the AFC’s calendar in which qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is also on offer for the top three sides.
Hanoi: Vietnam head coach Park Hang-seo has called up 28 players for a training camp in Korea Republic ahead of the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020.
The Golden Dragons, who returned home after clinching a historic gold medal in the recent 2019 SEA Games, will depart for Korea Republic on Friday.
Midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai and goalkeeper Bui Tien Dung are just some of the familiar players named for the training camp, but Doan Van Hau - who plays for Netherlands' SC Heerenveen - will not be joining his compatriots due to club commitments.