Qatar beat North Korea to reach semifinals
DOHA: Hosts Qatar on Friday beat North Korea 2-1 in extra time to
reach the semifinals of the AFC U-23 Championship.
For the hosts, it was a case of moving a step closer to 2016 Olympic
Games qualification after Akram Afif (4, penalty) and Ali Asad (92)
scored for the home team.
Just as Qatar fans were about to start their celebrations, North
Korea’s captain So Kyung-jin curled in a David Beckham-like free kick
to force the extra time.
In the extra time, Asad chipped in a volley from inside the Korean box
to produce the match-winning goal at Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium.
Earlier on Friday, Japan crushed Iran 3-0 to reach the semifinals of
the Jan 12-30 event which is an Olympic Games qualifier.
The top three sides will reach the football competition at the Rio de
Janeiro Olympic Games.
The match was watched by Al Sadd captain and Barcelona legend Xavi who
was seen congratulating Qatar coach Felix Sanchez after the final
Qatar are unbeaten in four games. Prior to their win on Friday,
Sanchez’s side beat China 3-1, Iran 2-1 and Syria 4-2.
In the remaining two quarterfinals, Korea take on Jordan while the UAE
face defending champions Iraq.
Qatar take on the winner from South Korea-Jordan clash.