Qatar stun Korea Republic, UAE knock out holders
Qatar book first-ever semi-final spot with Korea Republic win
Hosts UAE edge holders Australia
The two teams join Japan and IR Iran in final four
Qatar and hosts United Arab Emirates both stunned Korea Republic and tournament holders Australia in 1-0 wins to advance to the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 semi-finals.
FIFA.com reviews the second day of quarter-final action.
AFC Asian Cup Matchday 18
Ismaeil Matar Aljneibi of United Arab Emirates walks out with a mascot
AL AIN, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 25: Ismaeil Matar Aljneibi of United Arab Emirates walks out with a mascot ahead of the AFC Asian Cup quarter final match between United Arab Emirates and Australia at Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium on January 25, 2019 in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
Pedro Correia of Qatar controls the ball as Kim Jinsu of Korea Republic looks on
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 25: Pedro Correia of Qatar controls the ball as Kim Jinsu of South Korea looks on during the AFC Asian Cup quarter final match between South Korea and Qatar at Zayed Sports City Stadium on January 25, 2019 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)
Korea Republic 0-1 Qatar Zayed Sports City Stadium, Abu Dhabi
When it came to Qatar fans, it was a case of good things come to those who wait. A veritable slow-burner of a game finally fully ignited in the final 12 minutes, handing the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ hosts their first ever Asian Cup semi-final spot. Korea Republic had grown into the second half after a tepid opening phase, with Kim Jinsu cracking the outside of the woodwork with a free-kick. This seemed to light the blue touch paper.
Moments later, out of nothing Abdelaziz Hatem struck a sumptuous, swerving low effort that rocketed into the bottom corner. Only his second goal in a decade of pulling on the Qatar shirt, it was no doubt his most important. However, within seconds, Hwang Uijo saw an equaliser chalked off for offside, before Boalem Khouki’s acrobatic scissor-kick almost put the Qataris into dreamland. But they’re no doubt happy with the final four being their destination.
United Arab Emirates 1-0 Australia Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain
Looking to avenge their semi-final defeat of four years ago, the hosts locked horns with the reigning champions in a lively encounter. While both exuded positivity, converting chances proved the greatest challenge. Ismail Al Hamadi and Apostolos Giannou both tested the respective keepers, before Ali Mabkhout headed over a great opportunity on the stroke of half-time.
Having brought the Socceroos to life in the last round, Mathew Leckie almost repeated the feat, slipping Giannou through to slot home – only for the former to be flagged offside. No risk of that when UAE struck, however, with Mabkhout latching onto a rogue back-pass from Milos Degenek, with the hosts’ No7 rounding Mathew Ryan to steer them onto the road to the semi-finals. Australia rapped at the door in search of an equaliser, but UAE just held firm.
Semi-finals IR Iran-Japan, 28 January, Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain Qatar-United Arab Emirates, 29 January, Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi