South Korea, Iraq advance to AFC U23 Championship semi finals

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Korea Republic survived a turbulent second-half to hand a gallant Jordan side a 1-0 defeat in the quarter-finals of the AFC U23 Championship on Saturday evening and set up a semi-final meeting with tournament hosts Qatar.

Moon Chang-jin scored the only goal of the game midway through the first half as Shin Tae-yong’s side kept alive their nation’s hopes of appearing at a record eighth consecutive Olympic Games.

In the other match of quarter finals, former AFC Youth Player of the Year Mohanad Abdulraheem and Amjad Attwan Kadhim scored in extra-time as set-up an AFC U23 championship semi-final with Japan after the defending champions edged out the United Arab Emirates 3-1 in Saturday’s quarter-final at Grand Hamad Stadium.

Alaa Ali Mhawi’s 75th minute own goal had handed the UAE the lead in a tight quarter-final tie only for Ali Hisny to equalise for Iraq just two minutes later.

And having netted the winner in the final against Saudi Arabia as Iraq won the AFC U-22 Championship at the start of 2014, 2012 AFC Youth Player of the Year Abdulraheem struck at the end of the first half of extra-time before Kadhim sealed the win as Shahad Abdulghani’s side advanced to Tuesday’s meeting with Japan, with the winner guaranteed a place at the Olympic Games in Brazil later this year.

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