AFC U-23 Championship: Qatar pip Korea Republic to third place

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Qatar have finished third in the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship after beating Korea Republic 1-0 in Friday’s playoff at the Kunshan Stadium.

The only goal of the game arrived six minutes before the break when the Qataris produced a fine piece of counterattacking football.

Receiving possession just inside the opposition half, Akram Afif showed great pace to burst past a defender and through on goal before netting at the second time of asking, after his initial effort had been saved by Kang Hyeon-mu.

The South Koreans went on to dominate the second half and created a host of opportunities to equalise, but they were just unable to find a way past the stubborn Qatari defence.

Even when they were awarded a penalty five minutes after the break, Hwang Hyun-soo was unable to capitalise as his low effort was beaten away by Yousef Hassan.

Instead, it was Qatar who went on to claim the bronze medal and, in the process, exact some revenge on the South Koreans, who had knocked them out of the previous edition at the semi-final stage.

QATAR: Yousef Hassan, Tameem Al-Muhaza, Bassam Al-Rawi, Tarek Salman, Sultan Al-Brake, Assim Madibo, Salem Al-Hajri, Ahmad Moein, Abdelrahman Moustafa (Hashim Ali 90+3’), Akram Afif, Almoez Ali.

KOREA REPUBLIC: Kang Hyeon-mu, Park Jae-woo, Go Myeong-seok, Hwang Hyun-soo, Kuk Tae-jeong, Cho Yu-min, Han Seung-gyu (Park In-hyeok 90’), Kim Moon-hwan, Yoon Seung-won (Cho Young-wook 46’), Cho Jae-wan, Kim Gun-hee (Lee Keun-ho 46’).