U23 Asian Cup quarterfinal clashes revealed

By Hieu Luong   April 23, 2024 | 07:26 pm PT
Indonesia got past the group stage in their first U23 Asian Cup appearance, while all five teams who had won the title before reached the quarterfinals, creating exciting clashes ahead.
Indonesia players celebrate in the 4-1 win against Jordan on April 22, 2024. Photo by PSSI

Indonesia players celebrate in the 4-1 win against Jordan at U23 Asian Cup on April 22, 2024. Photo by PSSI

The four quarterfinal matches were revealed after the group stage concluded on Tuesday night: Qatar vs Japan, South Korea vs Indonesia, Iraq vs Vietnam and Uzbekistan vs Saudi Arabia.

Except for the rookie Indonesia, the remaining seven teams have all reached the semifinals at least once, of which Iraq won the title in 2013, Japan in 2016, Uzbekistan in 2018, South Korea 2020 and Saudi Arabia 2022.

West Asia continues to dominate the quarterfinals with three teams, East Asia and Southeast Asia have two and Central Asia has one. Thailand were eliminated despite winning the opening match against Iraq and Southeast Asia missed the chance to have three teams in the quarterfinals for the first time. Southeast Asia had two teams in the U23 Asian Cup quarterfinals for the first time in 2018, with Malaysia and Vietnam.

South Korea and Uzbekistan are the only teams to win all three games in the group stage while not conceding a goal. South Korea are also the only team to enter the quarterfinals in all six U23 Asian Cup editions. Following them are Japan and Iraq with 5 times, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan (4), Qatar, Vietnam (3) and Indonesia (1).

This year's U23 Asian Cup are also the 2024 Paris Olympics qualifiers, with three direct slots for the champion, runner-up and third place. The fourth place will face African team Guinea in a playoff for the remaining slot.

The tournament had been selected as an Olympic qualifier twice, in 2016 and 2020. The teams that qualified for the 2016 Olympics were Japan, South Korea and Iraq and for the 2020 Olympics, with Japan as hosts, were South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Australia.

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