Saudi Arabia’s U-19 team clinch remarkable Asian Cup with victory over Korea

Saudi Arabia’s Young Falcons pulled off a remarkable win against South Korea in the Asian Cup final on Sunday, with talisman Turki Al-Ammar leading the line. (Twitter: @SaudiNT)
Updated 04 November 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s U-19 team clinch remarkable Asian Cup with victory over Korea

  • Caps a wonderful week for Saudi Arabia as their semifinal win over Japan saw them qualify for next year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup
  • Young Falcons showed the defensive resolve that had got them to the final and held on to claim the title

JAKARTA: Saudi Arabia’s Young Falcons pulled off a remarkable win against South Korea in the Asian Cup final on Sunday, with talisman Turki Al-Ammar leading the line to land the Kingdom its third title at U-19 level and their first since 1992.
It caps a wonderful week for Saudi Arabia as their semifinal win over Japan saw them qualify for next year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland, where they will be joined by their beaten opponents Korea.
It took the Saudis just two minutes to go ahead, with Al-Ammar finishing on the rebound after Abdulmohsen Al-Qahtani’s initial shot had been saved.
Twenty minutes later, they had a second goal. Khalid Al-Ghannam struck a scintillating drive over Lee Gwang-yeon in the Korean goal from distance to send the Saudi supporters in the Bogor’s Pakansari Stadium into raptures.
Korea pressed harder in the second half in a bid to rescue the game, and they reduced the deficit midway through the half, as Cho Young-wook calmly despatching a penalty, which had been given after Jeon Se-jin was upended in the area by Muhannad Al-Shanqiti.
Ten minutes after that, Jeon should have dragged his team level, but he steered his attempt wide at the far post from a pinpoint cross from Um Won-Sang.
But the Young Falcons showed the defensive resolve that had got them to the final and held on to claim the title and spark wild celebrations.


Saudi Arabia to face Japan in Asian Cup second round after defeat to Qatar

Updated 17 January 2019
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Saudi Arabia to face Japan in Asian Cup second round after defeat to Qatar

  • A double from Almoez Ali means Qatar top Group E.
  • Juan Antonio Pizzi's men now face Japan in second round on Monday.

LONDON: Saudi Arabia now know they will have to overcome Japan in the second round if they are to keep their hopes of a fourth Asian Cup title alive. 

A 2-0 defeat at the hands of Qatar meant Juan Antonio Pizzi’s men finished second in Group E — both sides went into the top-of-the-table clash knowing they had already secured a spot in the knockout stages. 

A brace from Almoez Ali in Abu Dhabi was enough to give Qatar the three points and leave them top of the group. 

From the kick-off the Green Falcons were the ones who looked the more likely to make the initial breakthrough —  Fahad Almuwallad slamming a right-foot shot against the post after 22 minutes.

Qatar captain Hasan Al-Haydos then missed a penalty in the 42nd minute after Ali had been clattered in the box.

But Ali, who scored four goals in Qatar's 6-0 rout of North Korea last weekend, made no mistake in first-half stoppage time.

He calmly slotted the ball past Saudi Arabia goalkeeper Mohammed Alowais to become the first player to score six goals in a single Asian Cup since South Korea's Lee Dong-gook in 2000.

Ali subsequently headed in a seventh goal of the tournament 10 minutes from time, celebrating with a jig of delight.

While the defeat was not ideal Green Falcons coach Pizzi said he was still hopeful Saudi Arabia would be able to go far in the tournament. 

"It was an intense game but we have to hide our feelings and prepare for the last 16," Pizzi said.

"We were missing quality in the final third and individual errors have cost us," he added.

"But we will bounce back. I respect every team left in the competition, including Japan, but I don't feel that we are inferior to them in any way."

Qatar, who have never gone beyond the quarterfinals, advance to face Iraq in the last 16.