Japan, Uzbekistan confirm to participate in Paris Olympics…AFC U-23 Championship ‘Final clash’


Japan and Uzbekistan will have a showdown at the final of the 2024 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Asian Cup. The two teams also secured a berth to participate in the 2024 Paris Olympics, which is given up to the third place.

Japan defeated Iraq 2-0 on the 30th (Korea Standard Time) with consecutive goals by Mao Hosoya and Ryotaro Araki in the semifinals of the tournament at Jasim bin Hamad Stadium in Alaiyan, Qatar.

With this victory, Japan won the AFC U-23 Asian Cup final for the first time in eight years and four tournaments since the 2016 tournament.

Japan also succeeded in qualifying for the Olympic finals for eight consecutive times since the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. In this competition, the first to third place will advance to the Paris Olympic finals, and the fourth place will decide whether to participate in the Olympics through the playoffs between Guinea and the continental countries.

Japan won the match early on, with Hosoya, passed by Fujita Joel Chima, breaking the balance with a right footed shot in the 28th minute, and Araki, passed by Fujita, scored an additional goal in the 42nd minute. Japan shook off Iraq’s pursuit and confirmed its advance to the finals of the tournament and the finals of the Olympics at the same time. Japan was ahead of Iraq in both ball occupancy (56.2 percent) and shooting number (16-11).

Earlier, Japan beat China and the United Arab Emirates in Group B in succession, before losing 0-1 to South Korea led by Hwang Sun-hong to reach the quarterfinals as the second-ranked team in the group. In the quarterfinals, Japan beat Qatar 4-2 after extra-time struggles, and added a win against Iraq on the day to confirm its trip to Paris.

The opponent to contend with Japan for the championship is Uzbekistan, which beat “Shin Tae-yong” Indonesia to reach the final.

Uzbekistan defeated Indonesia 2-0 in the semifinal match of the tournament that ended at the Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium in Doha, Qatar on the same day. Uzbekistan’s coach Timur Kapaje is a former K-League coach who played for Incheon United.

The outcome was decided in the second half. In the 23rd minute of the second half, Uzbekistan scored a left-footed shot from Mohammad Khodir Kamaliev’s cross, before Hussain Norchayev shook the Indonesian net. In the 39th minute of the second half, Indonesian defender Rizki Lido scored an own goal to seal the victory. 메이저놀이터

This marks Uzbekistan’s first time on the Olympic stage. This is the third time after 2018 and 2022 that they have reached the final of the AFC U-23 Championship. In the 2018 tournament, they beat Vietnam to reach the top, but at that time, they did not qualify for the Olympics.

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