Khel Now logo
HomeSportsOLYMPICS 2024Live Score

AFC Asian Cup

Bahrain's comeback, Tajikistan's heroics and other talking points from AFC Asian Cup 2023 Matchday 3

Published at :January 26, 2024 at 12:30 PM
Modified at :January 26, 2024 at 12:30 PM
Post Featured Image

(Courtesy : AFC Media)

Samannay Sen

Four nations registered their maiden qualification to the AFC Asian Cup knockouts.

The AFC Asian Cup 2023 is on the verge of entering the RO16 stage. Matchday 3 in the AFC Asian Cup was very important as it decided the fate of many teams. Indonesia became the last team to secure a spot in the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 Round of 16.

The Round of 16 will feature a heavyweight clash between Saudi Arabia and South Korea, two teams with a combined total of five AFC Asian Cup titles to their name. Defending champions Qatar, who dominated Group A with a flawless record of nine points, will take on Palestine, while Australia, winners of Group B, are set to face Indonesia in the Round of 16.

Matchday 3 brought forth a flurry of action, leaving fans captivated and pundits buzzing with discussion.

Here are the key talking points from this exhilarating round of fixtures.

5. Jordan’s unexpected loss against Bahrain

Abdulla Yusuf celebrating his goal against Jordan. (Courtesy: AFC)

Although Jordan were the favorite going into the game against Bahrain as group toppers, things changed for them. Abdulla Yusuf scored the lone goal of the match as Bahrain secured a 1-0 victory over Jordan at the Khalifa International Stadium. While Jordan dominated the game, with their series of attacks, they couldn’t save themselves from the humiliation.

Bahrain looked strong in the second half with some good chances but the scoreline remained the same as Jordan qualified as one of the third-placed teams from Group F. Meanwhile with this historic win, Bahrain qualified as the group toppers and will face Japan in the Round of 16.

4. Syria, Palestine, Indonesia, and debutant Tajikistan’s maiden qualification

Syria, Palestine, Indonesia, and debutant Tajikistan earned their maiden qualification from the group stage. Syria stole the show in front of a jam-packed Indian crowd who were hoping for a fantasy ride but were put aside to reality with a grounded strike from the Al Wadha forward Omar Khribin.

Bahrain's comeback, Tajikistan's heroics and other talking points from AFC Asian Cup 2023 Matchday 3
Tajikistan celebrating their AFC Asian Cup RO16 qualification with their fans. (Courtesy: AFC)

Palestine pulled off a belief-crushing victory over Hong Kong with a psychologically commanding margin of 3-0. Tajikistan, being the debutant, pulled off the heist of the century against the well-experienced Lebanon in the dying minutes of extra-time for a well-maintained substantial lead to go through.

3. Vietnam’s heroic performance against strong Iraq

10-men Vietnam pulled off a great spirit against a well-tested and well-experienced Iraqi squad. Iraq had already booked a knockout spot and tested some of the important players from the squad and rested a few important ones in this clash.

Vietnam had an amazing first half with proper pressing football and kept the favorites a goal down. The lead was gone in the 47th minute with a goal from Rebin Sulaka and in the 72nd minute Ayemn Hussein gave Iraq the much needed lead. However, parity was restored, courtesy a stunner from the Vietnam attacking midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai, but subsequently, it was a perfect late penalty that stole the show for Iraq to emerge victorious in this clash.

2. Thailand’s brilliance against Saudi Arabia

Thailand held the title favorites Saudi Arabia to earn a hard-fought place in the Round of 16. It was a masterclass performance by the Thailand custodian Saranon Anuin. With this draw, being ranked second in Group F, Thailand are going to face the mighty Uzbekistan in the Round of 16 on Tuesday.

1. Malaysia’s miracle against South Korea

Bahrain's comeback, Tajikistan's heroics and other talking points from AFC Asian Cup 2023 Matchday 3
Malaysia held South Korea to a 3-3 draw. (Courtesy: AFC)

Malaysia pulled off a miraculous draw against the likes of South Korea. The Malaysians, with a ‘nothing to lose’ spirit, held the Koreans to a significant 3-3 draw. Notably, Malaysia were losing 3-2 until the Colombian-born forward Romel Morales inspired a audacious comeback in the 90+15th minute. Malaysia, signed off with respect and redemption, but made South Korea rank second in the group.

For more updates, follow Khel Now on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube; download the Khel Now Android App or IOS App and join our community on Whatsapp & Telegram.