AFC Asian Cup: S.Korea, Qatar complete quarterfinal lineup

Jan 23, 2019

AFC Asian Cup: S.Korea, Qatar complete quarterfinal lineup

Abu Dhabi (UAE) Jan 23: Two-time champions South Korea needed extra time to seal their place in the quarterfinals of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, defeating Bahrain 2-1 in their round of 16 tie at the Rashid Stadium in Dubai on Tuesday.
Substitute Kim Jin-su was the hero with his headed winner at the tail end of the first period of extra time.
Bahrain can walk tall despite the defeat as they took the match to the Koreans and in scoring, became the first team in the tournament to break the East Asian's defense.
The Taeguk Warriors, powered by Son Heung-min, seized control of possession when the match got underway but were unable to crack open the compact Bahraini defense.
Miroslav Soukup's charges also showed their intent with Mohamed Jasim Marhoon forcing Korean goalkeeper Kim Seung-gyu into a dive but his effort flew wide in the fourth minute, before Komail Hasan Alaswad tested the custodian a minute later.
South Korea, however, continued to dominate but their first glimpse at goal only came in the 34th minute when an exchange of passes saw Hwang Hee-chan with possession in the box but the Bahrain defenders reacted before he could unleash a strike.
The 22-year-old Hamburger SV was not to be denied though as he put South Korea ahead from close range two minutes from the half-time whistle.
The move began with Son laying a pass to Lee Yong on the right flank, who then sent the ball into the box which was blocked by keeper Sayed Shubbar Alawi, only for it to land at Hee-chan's feet who then had the simplest task of passing it into the net.
South Korea pressed from the start of the second half in search of a second goal to put the game to bed, forcing Alawi into action with back-to-back saves to deny Ui-jo and In-beom's shots on target.
Bahrain, however, did not sit back and troubled the Korean defense with their counter-attacks.
Bahrain had a golden opportunity to level the tie in the 70th minute when the Korean defenders failed to clear a corner kick, allowing Jamal Rashed Abdulrahman to fire a shot which seemed heading into the top right corner, only for Seung-gyu to spectacularly palm it out.
The West Asians did not go unrewarded for their aggression as the Korean defense was breached for the first time in the tournament when Mohamed Saad Alromaihi slammed the ball into the net after Hong Chul made a last ditch clearance of Mahdi Faisal Alhumaidan's attempt.
Ui-jo had a great chance to win the tie for South Korea when he intercepted a poor back pass in added time but his attempt to curl the ball past an onrushing Alawi went wide, which meant extra time.
South Korea immediately took control when the match restarted with attempts by Ju Se-jong, Lee Seung-woo and Kim Young-gwon.
Bahrain defended admirably but were caught off guard when Lee Yong sent in a brilliant cross from the right which Jin-su met with a thumping header to seal his team's place in the quarterfinals.
South Korea will now face Qatar, who beat Iraq 1-0 Tuesday, in the last eight at Abu Dhabi's Zayed Sports City Stadium on Friday.
Also on Tuesday, a glorious Bassam Al Rawi free-kick proved the difference as Qatar beat a determined Iraq 1-0 to advance.
Al Rawi struck in the second half of a fascinating encounter, which swang one way and then the other before being settled by the number 15's superb effort at an atmospheric Al Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Despite Iraq's industrious start to the game, it was Qatar who spurned the first genuine opportunity when 2018 AFC Player of the Year Abdelkarim Hassan rattled the bar with a shot from close range following Abdelaziz Hatim's cross in the fourth minute.
As Qatar continued to press in the opening stages, a well-placed Hatim came close to connecting with Hasan's whipped delivery, only for goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb to then dive bravely at the feet of an onrushing Mohanad Ali to repel Iraq's opening attack of the tie.
Iraq suffered a blow shortly after the half-hour mark as influential midfielder Humam Tareq left the pitch on a stretcher, although an Ahmed Ibrahim header which forced Al Sheeb into a smart save subsequently demonstrated the threat still posed by Srecko Katanec's charges.
However, the 2000 and 2011 quarterfinalists Qatar were to end an absorbing first half in the ascendancy as Hasan's deflected cross brushed an upright and Al Rawi headed Akram Afif's corner agonizingly wide of the target.
The second period began just as brightly and, after Iraq custodian Jalal Hassan had denied Akram Afif, Qatar went ahead on 62 minutes, Al Rawi curling home a delightful free-kick that Hassan could do little about.
Moments later, Hassan spread himself well to deny his rampaging Qatari namesake, before producing another fine stop to keep out a fierce Hatim drive from distance.
Iraq, though, refused to buckle, as Ali Adnan flashed a free-kick inches past the post and then Ahmed Ibrahim's 80th minute header missed by a similarly fine margin.
Qatar, with captain Hasan Al Haydos excelling throughout, valiantly held firm despite late Iraqi pressure to move ever closer to realizing their title aspirations.
In the quarterfinals, Vietnam face Japan, China play Iran, South Korea meet Qatar and United Arab Emirates host Australia.
Source: Xinhua