South Korea draws with Malaysia and avoids advancing to the final round against Japan in the Asian Cup

AL WAKRA, QATAR: South Korea drew 3-3 with Malaysia on Thursday, avoiding a Round of 16 encounter with Japan, who were favorites even before the Asian Cup.

Jurgen Klinsmann’s side advanced to second place in Group E after conceding a goal in the 15th minute of stoppage time at Al Janob Stadium and will face Saudi Arabia in their next match.

Romel Morales scored a second-half goal for Malaysia to equalize, ensuring Bahrain would face Japan as group winners. Bahrain defeated 3rd place Jordan 1-0 and also advanced to the final tournament.

South Korea was also one of the favorites to win the tournament before the tournament, but like Japan, they suffered setbacks in the group stage and advanced with one win and two draws.

Son Heung-min’s penalty in the fourth minute of stoppage time gave the team a 3-2 lead, sealing their place at the top of the table. However, Morales fired a shot from outside the area into the bottom corner of the goal, securing Malaysia’s only point of the tournament.

South Korea took the lead in the 21st minute with Jung Woo-young’s header. Faisal Halim leveled the score six minutes after half-time and Malaysia had a chance to take the lead when Seol Yong-woo fouled Arif Ayman in the box. Eyman stepped up and took a shot from the penalty spot.

South Korea tied the score in the 83rd inning on a Cihan Hazmi own goal before a dramatic conclusion.

Klinsmann may be grateful to be able to avoid Japan for now, even though the four-time champions have had their own problems and finished runners-up to Iraq in Group D.

Bahrain’s progress

Although Bahrain lost to South Korea in the first match, they won consecutive games 1-0 and advanced to the final tournament as the top of Group E.

Abdullah Yusuf Helal scored in the 34th at the Khalifa International Stadium to defeat Jordan.

Despite the loss, Jordan came through as one of the best third-place teams.

mancini marching

Roberto Mancini is aiming for his second major international title after leading Italy to victory at the European Championship in 2021.

His Saudi Arabian team drew 0-0 with Thailand at Education City Stadium and advanced as Group F winners with an unbeaten record. Thailand advanced to the semi-finals.

Three-time champions Saudi Arabia have not won since 1996, but have been runners-up twice since then, most recently in 2007.

Abdullah Radif had a chance to give Mancini’s side a third of three win, but his 12th-minute penalty was saved by Thai goalkeeper Saranon Anuin.

Oman defeated

Oman drew 1-1 with Kyrgyzstan at the Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium, but a late goal ended their hopes of winning.

Muhsen Al Ghassani scored in the 8th minute to give Oman hope of qualifying for third place. However, Joel Kodjo’s equalizing goal in the 80th minute gave Kyrgyzstan a draw, giving Oman two points.

Indonesia advanced to Group D as the fourth third-place team with three points.

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    (This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – Associated Press)

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    First published: January 26, 2024, 01:00 IST

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