March 7 – It was heartbreak for Vietnam as they went from top of their group after two matches at the AFC U20 Asian Cup to third place after losing to Iran, missing out on qualification to the knockout rounds on goal difference.
On an evening that decided the first four teams into the quarter finals of the competition, Australia clinched their spot with a 9-1 dismantling of Qatar, despite having gone a goal behind early on.
Iran defeated Vietnam 3-1 to finish top in Group B at the Istiqlol Stadium. Iran’s qualification completed a remarkable turnaround as they bounced back from defeat against Australia. Vietnam exited the tournament despite having beaten Australia and Qatar.
Moustafa Asar capitalised on a defensive error to give Qatar a second minute lead but that was the high point for the Qataris who crumbled after Hassan Al Ghareeb’s own goal was followed by goals from Chris Donnell, Raphael Rodrigues and Bernardo Oliveira before halftime.
Oliveira added a fifth midway through the second half before further strikes from Jonny Yull, Gabriel Popovic, Archie Goodwin and Alex Badolato.
Iran will meet Iraq in the quarter-finals while Australia will meet Group A winners and hosts Uzbekistan on Saturday.
Uzbekistan were denied a win in their final group game despite dominating the game against Indonesia who clung on for a 0-0 draw.
Iraq took the second group spot following a 1-1 draw with Syria.
The final group matches begin with Groups C and D are played tonight. Quarter finals will be played March 11, semis on March 15 and the final on March 18.
The top four teams will qualify for the U20 World Cup 2023 to be played in Indonesia starting May 20.
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