Q-finals: Korea Republic strike late to seal semis spot
Bangkok: Korea Republic made it four wins from four at the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 on Sunday thanks to a dramatic 2-1 victory over Jordan which propelled them into the competition’s semi-finals and a step nearer to qualifying for this year’s Olympic Games.
Having emerged from the group stage with a perfect record, Kim Hak-bum’s rising stars continued their impressive form at the Thammasat Stadium as, despite a late Jordan rally, Lee Dong-gyeong’s last gasp free-kick helped them move to within touching distance of what would be a first-ever Continental title at this level.
The Koreans, who have featured at every Olympic extravaganza since they were hosts in 1988, will now face Australia in an encounter which promises the winners both a place in the final and a berth at Tokyo 2020.
Defensive resilience key to Saudi Arabia's success, says Al Shehri
Bangkok: Saad Al Shehri praised his team’s defensive resilience after Saudi Arabia handed hosts Thailand a 1-0 defeat to advance to the semi-finals of the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 on Saturday, keeping the country’s hopes of the title and a first Olympic appearance in more than two decades alive.
Abdullah Al Hamdan’s late penalty took Saudi Arabia into the semi-finals to leave them one win away from securing a place at the Olympic tournament for the first time since 1996, but it was the performance of the rearguard that Al Shehri preferred to highlight.
Nishino urges Thailand players to continue working hard
Bangkok: Hosts Thailand bowed out of the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 on Saturday with head coach Akira Nishino looking to the future after seeing his side slip to a narrow 1-0 defeat at the hands of Saudi Arabia.
A packed-out Thammasat Stadium roared Nishino’s team on against Saad Al Shehri’s side, but in the end a 78th minute penalty from Abdullah Al Hamdan was enough to take the West Asian nation into the last four and break Thai hearts.
Thailand were making their first-ever appearance in the knockout phase of the competition and Nishino was hopeful that Thai football would learn from their involvement in the latter stages of the tournament.
Bangkok: Australia head coach Graham Arnold hailed his players for their ability to adapt to tactical changes in their AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 quarter-final win against Syria on Saturday.
Regulation time failed to break the deadlock and it took a moment of magic from substitute Al Hassan Toure in the 102nd minute for the Olyroos to claim a 1-0 victory to advance to their first AFC U23 Championship semi-finals.
Arnold, who also manages the Socceroos, acknowledged the difficulty his side faced and revealed he was forced to make several strategic adjustments through the 120 minutes and praised his players for their ability to adapt.
Thailand 2020 - Vote for your Goal of the Group Stage
Bangkok: With the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 moving into the crucial knockout stage, we reflect on some of the best goals from the group stage and ask you the fans to select your favourite.
Long-range screamers, stunning free-kicks and superb team moves, the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 group stage saw goals from all angles and distances to delight lovers of Asian football across the Continent.