Uzbekistan, North Korea advance as group stage concludes

Uzbekistan finished top of Group D after defeating North Korea at the AFC U-16 Championship in India on Friday, while Thailand and Yemen played to a 1-1 draw.

North Korea 1-3 Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan beat North Korea 3-1, although both teams still advanced to the quarter-finals after finishing in the top two spots of Group D.

After a goalless first half, the Uzbekis took the lead in extraordinary circumstances shortly after the restart as a long kick from goalkeeper Jasurbek Umrzakov somehow conspired to bounce over the Korean defenders and keeper Jang Paek-ho and into the net.

Jang did his best to get back but slipped on the wet surface and looked on as the ball bounced into the net.

Substitute Rasul Yuldoshov added a second just after the hour mark after breaking into the area, rounding Jang and fired home.

With just over 20 minutes to go, Uzbekistan added their third through Ibrokhim Ganikhonov following a defensive error that turned over possession.

North Korea pulled one back through Ri Kang-guk 15 minutes from time, and despite going down 3-1 they still booked their place in the quarter-finals alongside their opponents thanks to earlier victories over Thailand and Yemen.

Thailand 1-1 Yemen

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Thailand and Yemen both secured their first point of the competition following a 1-1 draw in their final Group D campaign.

Both teams were playing for pride, having already been eliminated from the competition following two earlier losses each.

The match started in disastrous fashion for Thailand as captain Hassawat Nopnate accidentally headed the ball into his own net after a cross came into the box following a short corner.

Thailand seemed to struggle for cohesion, with coach Chaiyong Khumpiam having made seven changes to the starting line-up from the side that lost 4-1 to North Korea.

Yemen were controlling proceedings, but Thailand still managed to find an equaliser just one minute into the second half, as Natthaphon Srisawat latched onto a rebound and slotted home after Nititorn Sripraman’s initial goalbound shot was headed away by Abdulkareem Abdullah.

There was no winner for either side as they shared the spoils and ended their respective campaigns with a draw.

Quarter-finals

Friday’s action marked the conclusion of the tournament’s group stages, and the quarter-final line-up was finalised.

Sunday, September 25

Iran v Vietnam
Japan v United Arab Emirates

Monday, September 26

Oman v North Korea
Uzbekistan v Iraq

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