Saudi Arabia not satisfied with Olympic qualification, say Bukhari, Al Amri
Bangkok: Saudi Arabia are not content with just sealing a place in the Tokyo Olympics, with Amin Bukhari and Abdulelah Al Amri stressing the West Asians are determined to return home with the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 title.
Saudi Arabia beat 2018 champions Uzbekistan 1-0 in the semi-finals on Wednesday to seal a return to the Olympic Games after a 24-year absence, and play Korea Republic in the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 final on Sunday.
Bangkok: The AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 final between Korea Republic and Saudi promises to be a thriller.
The final, at Bangkok's iconic Rajamangala Stadium, will be between two of the tournament's most in-form teams with Korea Republic taking a record of five wins from as many matches into the decider with Saudi Arabia having registered four triumphs and one draw.
Join the-AFC.com as we take a look at five interesting facts and figures ahead of the decider.
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.