South Korea defeat China, while Japan lose at the Under 23 Asian Cup

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The Under 23 Asian Cup is well underway in Thailand and on Thursday, Japan was in action while China took on South Korea. There was to be plenty of drama too as South Korea overcame to China with a last-minute goal and Japan lost out to Saudi Arabia thanks in part to a dodgy penalty call. 

Korea win late

South Korea defeated China in the end after a well-fought even match. China was unfortunate to lose their key attacker too just before half-time as Zhang Yuning of Beijing Guoan was forced off through injury.

The goal in the match then came as it looked to be sizzling out for a goalless draw but in the last minute, Lee Dong-Jun found space to slot home from six yards. The result will please coach Kim Hak-Beom as his side is in a tough group with Uzbekistan and Iran to follow for the Koreans.

There is still hope for China though as they have now faced on paper the strongest side in Group C so they could still qualify. It was however not the best start for China as they look to build for the future with a new era beginning in Chinese football.

The signs of positivity for sure there for all to see for China as they pushed a Korean side years ahead of them in terms of developing young talent. They'll be a feeling of what could have been to had they managed to keep Zhang Yuning on the pitch.

Group C

Team MP W D L F A GD Pts
South Korea U23 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 3
Iran U23 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1
Uzbekistan U23 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1
China U23 1 0 0 1 0 1 -1 0

Japan lose

As for Japan, it was not to be good news for the side that is preparing to partake in a home Olympics in the summer. The match, in the end, was won in controversial circumstances as Saudi Arabia slotted home an 88th-minute winning penalty.

The replays would suggest that the attacker Firas Albirakan made we shall say a meal of any touch he may have received from the Japan defender Okazaki.

Group B

Team MP W D L F A GD Pts
Saudi Arabia U23 1 1 0 0 2 1 +1 3
Syria U23 1 0 1 0 2 2 0 1
Qatar U23 1 0 1 0 2 2 0 1
Japan U23 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0

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