Tokyo 2020 is what matters to us, says Saudi Arabia's Al Shehri
Bangkok: Saad Al Shehri put thoughts of revenge to one side as he celebrated guiding Saudi Arabia to an opening victory over Japan on Thursday as the West Asian nation picked up a 2-1 win over Hajime Moriyasu’s side in Group B of the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020.
Abdulrahman Ghareeb’s penalty two minutes from time sealed the three points for the Saudis as Al Shehri earned some personal payback for the defeat he suffered at the hands of the Japanese in the final of the AFC U19 Championship in Bahrain in 2016.
But while the Saudi coach would be forgiven for rejoicing at avenging that defeat – which came via a penalty shootout – he chose instead to look to the future, and the prospect of qualifying his country for the Olympic Games for the first time since 1996.
Bangkok: Abdulrahman Ghareeb’s late penalty earned Saudi Arabia all three points on Thursday as Saad Al Shehri’s side defeated Japan 2-1 in the nations’ opening Group B clash in the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 at Thammasat Stadium.
Ghareeb converted from the spot two minutes from time after referee Chris Beath confirmed via the Video Assistant Referee that Makoto Okazaki had fouled Feras Al Brikan and the Al Ahli striker made no mistake from the spot.
The game had looked destined to end in a draw after Ayman Al Khulaif had seen his 48th minute opener for Saudi Arabia cancelled out by Ryotaro Meshino nine minutes later.
Bangkok: Substitute Alaa Aldin Dali struck late on to salvage a point for Syria as they came from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Qatar in Group B of the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 campaign on Thursday.
Dali converted Mohammad Alhallak’s cross at the far post to earn a share of the spoils for Syria on a night when Yusuf Abdurisag’s early effort and an own goal from defender Yosief Mohammad had threatened to be their undoing.
Hakeem full of praise for Syria, Qatar's Sanchez rues dropped points
Bangkok: Head coach Ayman Hakeem has praised Syria’s desire and powers of recovery following Thursday’s thrilling 2-2 draw with Qatar in Group B of the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020.
Alaa Aldin Dali struck deep into stoppage time to earn his side a last gasp share of the spoils after the Syrians had been 2-0 down within 22 minutes of the encounter at the Thammasat Stadium.
Dali’s strike, coupled with a first-half effort from Abdul Rahman Barakat, capped a superb comeback after an error from goalkeeper William Ghannam and Yosief Mohammad’s own goal had threatened to cost Syria dear in their Continental opener.
Songkhla: Head coach Kim Hak-bum heaped praise on super sub Lee Dong-jun, after his injury time winner gave Korea Republic a winning start to the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 against China PR on Thursday.
With the match seemingly headed for a goalless draw, 58th-minute substitute Lee scored to snatch the win in the third and final minute of stoppage time, sending Kim’s charges to the top of the Group C table at the end of Matchday One.
Buriram: Jordan will have to adapt to life without their star forward Musa Al Taamari if they are to overcome DPR Korea in their AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 opening match on Friday, according to coach Ahmed Abu Ismael.
The West Asian nation will have to wait until the third group match against the UAE to enjoy the services of their talismanic winger Al Taamari, who currently plies his trade at Cypriot side APOEL.
Buriram: Maciej Skorza is optimistic his UAE side can realise their dream of playing in the 2020 Olympics, despite an injury blow ahead of their AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 opener against Vietnam on Friday.
To reach Tokyo 2020, Skorza’s men have to better their performances at the two previous appearances in the competition, which both ended at the quarter-finals. In 2013 they were eliminated by Jordan and three years later, it was Iraq that knocked them out at the same stage.
The first obstacle on their way are 2018 runners-up Vietnam. The two sides had faced-off in the group stage of the 2016 edition, with the UAE emerging 3-2 winners to top the group, while Vietnam finished bottom at the time.