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Uzbekistan celebrate after scoring a goal against the United Arab Emirates. © AFC.com

Olympic Games News

Four semi-finalists chase three places at Tokyo 2020 football tournament

Date : 20 Jan 2020

Bangkok, Thailand, January 20, 2020: Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Australia will battle for three places in the men’s football competition at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after reaching the semi-finals of the Asian Football Confederation Under-23 Championship in Thailand.

Uzbekistan, the reigning AFC U-23 champions, will take on Saudi Arabia in one semi-final on Wednesday, January 22, with Korea meeting Australia in the other. The winners will qualify for the Olympics with the losers then meeting in the third-place play-off to decide the last berth for Asia.

Defending champions Uzbekistan bounced back from going a goal behind to hand the United Arab Emirates a crushing 5-1 defeat at Rajamangala Stadium on Sunday, January 19, to book their berth in the semi-finals.

Uzbekistan, who have never qualified for the Olympics, will meet the Saudis in the last four. Saudi Arabia, who last appeared at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, booked their semi-final berth with a 1-0 victory over hosts Thailand.

On the other side of the draw, South Korea, who are seeking to reach the Olympics for the ninth consecutive Games, scored a dramatic injury-time winner to defeat Jordan 2-1.

The Koreans, who have competed at every Olympic Games since they qualified automatically as hosts at Seoul 1988, will take on Australia in the other semi-final. Australia defeated Syria 1-0 in extra-time to reach the last four.

Japan, as hosts, have already qualified automatically for Tokyo.

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