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Home » AFC U23 Asian Cup 2024 – Indonesia stunned Korea as Japan edged Qatar

AFC U23 Asian Cup 2024 – Indonesia stunned Korea as Japan edged Qatar

by Tom
AFC U23 ASIAN Cup 2024 - Indonesia and Japan sealed semi-final spots-min

AFC U23 Asian Cup 2024: Japan cruised past Qatar in extra time, and Indonesia stunned South Korea on penalties to set up an anticipated semi-final tie.

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AFC U23 Asian quarter-final results

Japan edged 10-man Qatar on extra-time

The young Blue Samurais needed extra time to seal their semi-final ticket after Qatar were short one player due to a first-half red card.

In a heart-wrenching turn of events at Jassim bin Hamad Stadium on Thursday, Mao Hosoya and Kotaro Uchino delivered two extra-time goals that shattered the home team’s hopes.

Hosoya’s precision strike slipped past substitute goalkeeper Ali Korayem, breaking Qatar’s resistance 11 minutes into extra-time. Uchino sealed the deal with a goal seven minutes before the final whistle, bringing Go Oiwa’s side one step closer to the championship.

AFC U23 Asian Cup quarter-final result
AFC U23 Asian Cup quarter-final result

U23 Japan got an early lead when Fuki Yamada scored in the second minute, but Ahmed Al Rawi levelled with a superb header 22 minutes later.

The quarter-final’s turning point occurred when Yousef Abdullah got sent off at the 41st-minute red card. However, the disadvantaged did not upset Qatar as they took the lead four minutes into the second half through Jassem Gaber.
But Seiji Kimura’s 67th-minute header restored parity.

At the same time, Hosoya and Uchino struck late to take their nation into the last four. The Japanese seek to maintain their qualifying record for every Olympic Games since 1996.

Indonesia is in the semi-finals for the first time ever!

History is made for the young Indonesian side, and it’s not for the fainted hearts!

Nine years after being thrashed by Korea in the qualifying match, which doomed Indonesia’s hopes of making their debutant in the AFC U23 Asian Cup, the revenge has now been accomplished.

AFC Asian U23 - Indonesia made semi-finalist
AFC U23 Asian Cup 2024 – Indonesia stunned Korea

Indonesia proved they could do much more than just being dark horses in the competition. They pulled off an 11-10 win on penalties against the same opponents to seal a historic semi-final place at the AFC U23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024.

Pratama Arhan’s decisive spot-kick in a marathon shootout after proceedings had ended 2-2 capped a hard-earned triumph for the tournament debutants, who were pegged back twice in regulation time despite playing with a one-man advantage from the 70th minute onwards.

For Hwang Sun-hong’s charges, who have made the last four on four out of the five previous editions – more than any other team – the defeat ended their hopes of making the Olympic Games for a 12th time.

One of the competition’s favourites and perennial powerhouses, Korea Republic were pressed back right from the start at the Abdullah Bin Khalifah Stadium and a superb first-half brace from Rafael Struick seemed to have set Indonesia up for a third consecutive win.

The Southeast Asian side took the surprisingly early lead with a superb goal from Struick in the 15th minute, who brought a loose ball under control on the edge of the box before curling a sublime effort into the top right corner as Korea Republic conceded for the first time at Qatar 2024.

South Korea needed late first-half luck to have the equalizer after Eom Ji-sung’s header had deflected off the unfortunate Komang Teguh and sneaked past Ernando Ari in the Indonesian goal for the equalizer. 21-year-old Struick got his brace late in the first half’s injury time to restore the lead for his side.

Indonesia came closer to adding a third after the break, as Pratama and Struick fired wide from promising positions, with Korea Republic still reeling.

Korea Republic were also not helped by the dismissal of half-time substitute Lee Young-jun – the competition’s joint-leading scorer – with 20 minutes of regulation time left, following a VAR review.

The 2020 champions showed their class as they scored the perfect breakaway goal in the 84th minute. Having committed too many bodies forward for a corner, Indonesia were caught out when Baek collected the ball and immediately launched it to Hong Yun-sang, who was already racing away in a two-on-two situation.

The midfielder then slipped the perfect pass to fellow substitute Jeong Sang-bin, who slotted the ball past Ernando to draw his side level for the second time.

Heartbroken for U23 South Korea in the AFC ASIAN Cup 2024
Heartbroken for U23 South Korea in the AFC ASIAN Cup 2024

With neither side able to find a third in extra time, the tie was decided via spot-kicks. After each player on the pitch had taken a penalty, Ernando pulled off his second save in the shootout to deny Lee and set the stage for Pratama to fire Indonesia to triumph.

That sent the Indonesian support in the partisan 9,105-strong crowd, who chanted head coach Shin Tae-yong’s name during the match, into delirium as their team’s dream run was extended.

It also marked a full-circle moment for Shin, who was at the helm of the Korean Republic team nine years ago and eventually led them to a runners-up finish at the 2016 edition.

If the 53-year-old can steer his current side past Uzbekistan or Saudi Arabia in the last four to repeat that achievement, he will cement a brand new legacy in Indonesia.

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