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AFC Asian Cup

Top five biggest upsets in AFC Asian Cup 2023

Published at :February 08, 2024 at 12:20 AM
Modified at :February 08, 2024 at 08:54 PM
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(Courtesy : AFC)

Samannay Sen


Jordan created history as the lowest-ranked side to make it to the final of the AFC Asian Cup.

The AFC Asian Cup has been a breath-taking contest so far. There have been a lot of upsets which have shocked the entire world. Low-ranked teams have performed exceptionally well and have eliminated favorites from the tournament.

In the fascinating journey of the AFC Asian Cup 2023, football fans witnessed an array of nerve-wracking encounters, each mixed with its twist of fortune. However, it was the underdogs who seized the spotlight, confronting odds and anticipations to engrave their names in the archives of football history. From debutants making waves to persistent powerhouses facing unforeseen challenges, the tournament is a spectacle of surprises.

As we gradually move to the final encounter let’s have a look at the biggest upsets of the tournament so far.

5. AFC Asian Cup debutants Tajikistan surprise United Arab Emirates

UAE lost to debutants Tajikistan in penalties. (Courtesy: AFC)

The AFC Asian Cup welcomed a new contender onto its stage as Tajikistan made its debut in a manner that will be fixed in memory for years to come. Throughout the tournament, Tajikistan has shown firm determination and belief and has contested with tough teams with all their skills.

In a magnificent display of skill and determination, Tajikistan carved out a path to the quarter-finals by upsetting the tough United Arab Emirates in a dreadful penalty shoot-out, leaving fans in admiration of their remarkable journey.

4. Malaysia with their biggest comeback shocked South Korea in the group stages

Malaysia put on a great show against one of the favourites of the tournament South Korea when they came back twice from behind and Romel Morales equalised for them just before the last whistle.

Trailing behind, Malaysia showcased firm resilience as they battled to secure a thrilling 3-3 draw, an achievement that not only showcased their ability but also served as a testament to the unpredictable nature of the beautiful game. Malaysia showed character in the field as they never lost the hope of being dominated by their tough opponents.

3. Iraq’s Triumph over Japan

Iraq’s victory in the group stages against record four-time winners Japan, who boasted a star-studded lineup was indeed a shock in the AFC Asian Cup 2023. With an inspired performance led by Aymen Hussein, Iraq scored what can only be described as one of the most memorable upsets of the tournament.

Every member of the team contributed to this remarkable victory, securing a 2-1 triumph that will be carved in the chronicles of football history.

2. Iran stunned Samurai Blues to step into the semi-finals

Favourites Japan failed to clear Iran challenge. (Courtesy: AFC)

As the tournament progressed, Iran emerged as a force to be reckoned with their exceptional skill and strategic proficiency. Although both the teams were considered favorites for the competition Japan’s defeat was quite shocking.

Iran, powered by their passionate supporters, achieved a significant milestone by defeating favorites Japan with a memorable 2-1 victory, securing their place in the semi-finals of the AFC Asian Cup 2023. After a lot of dangerous attacks and missed opportunities by Japan, Iran came on top as they grabbed a significant victory with a stoppage-time penalty.

1. Jordan’s heroics and South Korea’s exit from semi-final

Jordan shock South Korea, becomes lowest ranked team to reach AFC Asian Cup final
An elated Jordan side after beating mighty South Korea. (Courtesy: AFC)

The ultimate moment of the tournament belonged to Jordan, whose heroics captivated audiences worldwide. Jordan created history as the lowest-ranked side 87 to make it to the finals in the AFC Asian Cup 2023. Son’s South Korea was one of the title contenders in the competition.

Before this tournament, Jordan had never advanced to the semi-finals, having only reached the quarterfinals twice in previous editions. It is the first time they have reached the final in the AFC Asian Cup. Although South Korea dominated possession in the later part of the game, it was Jordan’s complete supremacy that earned them a 2-0 victory against the favorites.

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