South Korea overcome Saudi Arabia in extra time to become Asian under-23 champions

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Players in action during the final in Bangkok. (Saudi National Teams)
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Players in action during the final in Bangkok. (Saudi National Teams)
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Players in action during the final in Bangkok. (Saudi National Teams)
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Updated 27 January 2020

South Korea overcome Saudi Arabia in extra time to become Asian under-23 champions

  • Late goal in extra time was all that separated the two teams in a tight final
  • Saudi Arabia can take consolation from the fact that they already qualified for the Olympics through the tournament in Thailand

South Korea overcame Saudi Arabia in extra time to win the final of the Asian Under-23 championship in Bangkok on Sunday.

A goal from Jeong Tae-Wook just minutes away from a penalty shoot-out was all there was between the two sides in a closely fought contest.

Despite the disappointment, the Green Falcons will walk away from the tournament having qualified for the Olympic Games next summer through the under-23 event. It will be the first time Saudi Arabia have featured at the football tournament of the Olympics since Atlanta 1996.

Saudi Arabia's superbly organised defence looked set to frustrate the South Koreans until the 113th-minute winner.
It was the South Koreans' first title in the fourth edition of this tournament, giving them the perfect ending to a campaign in which they also qualified for their ninth straight Olympics.
After a scrappy opening period, Jeong Woo-yeong brought the game to life in the 20th minute. The SC Freiburg forward tricked his way past a defender to go through on goal before Mohammed Al Yami narrowed the angle and saved his shot.
The Saudis responded 10 minutes later when Abdullah Al-Hamdan saw his effort blocked from close range.
Three minutes from half-time, Jeong Woo-Yeong missed the best chance of the first 45 minutes, blasting over from 12 yards out.
South Korea again came close to making the breakthrough in the 58th minute. Lee Dong-jun cut inside from the right and angled a shot for the far corner, but Al Yami got down to make a fine save.
Saudi Arabia finally showed some more attacking intent as the match edged toward the 90-minute mark and Abdulrahman Ghareeb fired a powerful effort over from 20 yards with three minutes remaining.
The match entered extra time and, after an uneventful 20 minutes, Lee Dong-gyeong threatened with a low shot from the edge of the box, but Al Yami made the save again.
But South Korea finally broke the deadlock in the 113th minute when Jeong Tae-wook rose to head home Lee Dong-gyeong's free kick, sparking wild celebrations.

The young Green Falcons of Saudi Arabia defeated Uzbekistan 1-0 in the semifinals, while South Korea beat Australia 2-0.

Three teams will qualify for the Tokyo Olympics from the Asian competition, joining host Japan in a 16-nation lineup.


Saudi helpers step up to the tee at first women’s golf tournament

Updated 26 February 2020

Saudi helpers step up to the tee at first women’s golf tournament

  • Volunteers will have the chance to step inside the ropes and get up close with the sport’s leading players

JEDDAH: Saudi volunteers will be able to write their names into the history books by helping at the first-ever Saudi Ladies International professional golf tournament.

Competition organizers are looking to recruit hundreds of people to help with the smooth running of the four-day event from March 19-22 at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC).

Volunteers will have the chance to step inside the ropes and get up close with the sport’s leading players, including Order of Merit winner Beth Allen, three-time Ladies European Tour (LET) winner Carly Booth and Solheim Cup hero Azahara Munoz, as they compete for $1 million in prize money. 

The LET tournament in Saudi Arabia will mark the first time that professional female golfers have played competitively in the country, and comes hot on the heels of last month’s triumphant men’s equivalent, the Saudi International, won by Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell.

Online registration is now open for the debut event’s volunteers’ program.

Volunteers will be briefed before the event and receive a tournament uniform to wear while they work.

Marshals, including traveling, static, crossing and transitional positions, will be required for the tournament. Mobile scoreboard operators and walking scorers are among other roles that will offer volunteers a unique insight into the world-class event.

Mike Oliver, event director at Golf Saudi, said: “For the first year of this event, we are offering volunteers a chance to be part of history, working at the first professional women’s golf event to be held in the country.

“Volunteers, from both Saudi Arabia and abroad, will play a key role in helping us deliver a successful inaugural tournament,” he said.

A certificate of service will be presented to volunteers at the completion of the tournament.

As a bonus, volunteers will have their photo taken with the 2020 ladies winner during the prize presentation — a moment that will be seen by a worldwide audience via live broadcasts.