The AFC U23 Championships moves into the final stages with the semi finals. South Korea have progressed to this point and take on Central Asian Nation Uzbekistan. Preview and Prediction below;
Squads & Route to the Semi Final for Uzbekistan U23 vs. South Korea U23
Before we start here are the squads for both South Korea & Uzbekistan;
We’ve already covered the South Korea squad in previous posts, basically mainly domestic squad players. The same applies for Uzbekistan who all play at home, but mostly in the top division, and a few have senior international caps (friendlies but still).
Route to the Semi Finals;
Starting with South Korea who finished top of Group D with 2wins and 1 draw;
2-1 vs. Vietnam U23
0-0 vs. Syria U23
3-2 vs. Australia U23
Korea were strong in all 3 games but not dominant. They also have the tournaments joint-leading goalscorer in Lee Keun-ho (Yonsei University), who has certainly caught the eye of some K League scouts.
QF 2-1 vs. Malaysia U23
Uzbekistan finished Group A runners-up with 2 wins and 1 defeat;
0-1 vs. Qatar U23
1-0 vs. China U23
1-0 vs. Oman U23
All 3 games were very close and defensive.
QF 4-0 vs. Japan U23
Preview & Prediction for Uzbekistan U23 vs. South Korea U23
2018 AFC U-23 Championship – Semi Final
Kick Off: 8.30pm Tuesday January 23rd (Korea Time)
Uzbekistan U23 vs. South Korea U23
The game is being played at the Kunshan Stadium, a place the South Korea team know well having played all of their games so far there. South Korea are undefeated during the tournament so far and have generally been strong moving forward but lacking a little bit at the back. The opposite could have been said for Uzbekistan during the group stages scoring only twice but only conceding once. But then they went a shocked Japan scoring 4.
This could be a defensive game. The Kunshan Stadium pitch isn’t designed for flowing football. We see it going to Extra Time and Korea scoring the only goal of the game, maybe via a set-piece.
Prediction: Uzbekistan 0-1 (AET) South Korea U23
Result & Highlights
Result: Uzbekistan 4-1 (AET) South Korea U23
All of the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship games (at least the games with South Korea) will be shown on JTBC3 & Naver Sports.