FIFA U-20 World Cup

Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia complete Asia's Poland-bound quartet

(FIFA.com)
Saudi Arabia celebrate victory over Australia at the AFC Asian U-19 Championship.
© AFC
  • Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia through to AFC U-19 Championship semi-finals
  • Pair qualify with victories over Tajikistan and Australia respectively
  • Last four ties: Qatar-Korea Republic and Japan-Saudi Arabia

Korea Republic and Saudi Arabia have secured Asia's final berths at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019 by qualifying for the AFC U-19 Championship semi-finals.

A 1-0 win over Tajikistan saw the South Koreans, U-20 hosts in 2017, through to their 15th appearance at the finals - only Brazil have more - while the Saudis, who reached the Round of 16 last time, beat Australia 3-1 to secure their return. The pair join Japan and Qatar in booking tickets to next year's global finals.

Korea Republic's spot was sealed thanks to Jeon Sijin's coolly taken first-half goal, cutting inside onto his right foot to then nestle a slotted effort perfectly inside the left upright, leaving Tajik keeper Qirghizboev Shohrukh rooted to the floor.

Tajikistan were unable to turn things around as they went in search of their first ever trip to the global tournament, leading to scenes of red delight in the Korean dressing room at full time.

Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, saw off spirited Australian opposition thanks to second-half goals from Feras Al-Birikan and Saud Abdulhamid. The west Asians dominated much of the match and had earlier taken the lead through Turki Al Ammar before being pegged back by Nathanial Atkinson's 42nd-minute leveller.

Poland 2019 will be the Saudis ninth appearance at the U-20 World Cup. They now go on to face Japan in the last four of the Asian finals, while Korea Republic take on Qatar.

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