Asia’s football supremo Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has paid tribute to Uzbekistan, South Korea and Iraq after they advanced to the Round of 16 in the Fifa Under-20 World Cup, which is currently being held in Turkey.
Iraq qualified outright as Group E winners on seven points, two ahead of second-placed Chile and will face Paraguay on July 3.
Korea and Uzbekistan continued their journey in the competition as one of the five best third-placed teams from the group stage.
“Three out of four Asian teams have qualified for the next round in the Fifa U-20 World Cup, which shows the growing stature of Asian football,” Shaikh Salman said.
“Our teams have been a force to reckon with in Fifa age-group competitions and I am confident that the Asian teams will go a long way in the tournament.
“Iraq’s victory over Egypt and Chile and their come-from-behind draw with England in the opener proved that Asian teams cannot be taken lightly.”
“The journey of Korea Republic and Uzbekistan is also encouraging and I would like to wish all the teams very best for their upcoming fixtures."
The Koreans finished third in Group B on four points, three points behind group winners Portugal and two points away from second-placed Nigeria.
The Uzbeks were in Group F, winning their match against last-placed New Zealand before earning a crucial point in their 1-1 draw with Croatia, before ending the group stage with a 4-0 loss to Uruguay.
Uzbekistan will next be up against Greece in the Round of 16 while the Koreans will pit their skills against the Colombians.
- Sports & Recreation