Unconsciously, the U20 Asian Cup has reached the knockout stage, and in the two games that have been played, the big surprise broke out again. The two favourites to win the championship have been eliminated and stopped at the top eight. This also sets an example for the upcoming China team. It is not impossible to defeat the strong with the weak!
The first game to be played was the confrontation between Iran and Iraq. These two teams are old rivals in Asia, and they meet frequently in the field of adult national teams. In last year’s Top 12 match, Iran killed Iraq twice, so it seems that Iran will have an advantage in terms of paper strength and team ranking. Moreover, Persian fighters are also the favourites to win this tournament, but they unexpectedly overturned here in Iraq.
Because the strength of the two teams is relatively close, the whole game has been very tight, and both sides have focused their main energy on the fight in the midfield, so after 90 minutes of competition, neither side has created any good chances to break the door. However, just as the game was about to enter overtime, the Iraqi team scored the winner by midfielder Jassim. In this way, the Iraqi team unexpectedly defeated the favorite Iran team, took the lead in the U20 Asian Cup semi-finals, and won a ticket for the World Youth Championship!
What followed was a strong dialogue between the hosts Uzbekistan and Australia. Although Uzbekistan, an adult national team, seems difficult to compete with Australia, Uzbekistan has always been in the forefront of Asia in the field of youth teams. In addition, they are playing at home in this tournament, so Uzbekistan naturally has some advantages, and these advantages have also been revealed in the competition.
In the 77th minute, the Australian team took advantage of a corner kick, which was scored by striker Popovich, taking the lead in breaking the deadlock and taking a 1-0 lead. However, their celebration lasted only two minutes. In the 79th minute, Uzbekistan equalized the score with a cold shot from full-back Abdullah Matof. In the 30-minute overtime, neither team achieved anything, so the game had to enter a cruel penalty shootout. In the cheers of tens of thousands of fans at the scene, Uzbekistan didn’t miss a shot, but Segecic, the fifth penalty kick of Australia, flew the ball. In the end, Uzbekistan defeated Australia 5-4 through penalty shootout, and the total score was 6-5. Advance to the top four!
The semi-final opponent of Uzbekistan will be between China and South Korea. If we only look at the strength comparison, the South Korean team is undoubtedly far ahead of the China team, but football is a sport full of uncertainties. In the group stage, we have already beaten the defending champion Saudi Arabia unexpectedly, and this time we will face the last runner-up South Korea team. I hope the miracle can appear again!
Bless the China team and look forward to the news of their victory!