The NT U-23 is the Champion of the U-23 AFC Asian Cup with two goals against Uzbekistan


The U-23 Saudi national team won the U-23 AFC Asian Cup 2022 in Uzbekistan, after defeating the host Uzbekistan 2-0 in the final match held on Sunday at Bunyodkor Stadium in Tashkent.

Ahmed Al-Ghamdi (48) and Firas Al-Braikan (74) scored the two goals for the Saudi national team.

The Saudi national team won the title for the first time in its history, after losing the final twice in 2013 and 2020.

The Uzbek national team won the title during the third edition of 2018 in China, when it defeated Vietnam in the final.

Caution dominated the performance of the two teams at the beginning of the match, as there was no shot on goal for more than 20 minutes.

The first dangerous chance came in the 24th minute in favor of Saudi Arabia when Ayman Yahya sent a cross pass from the right side that caused a problem in front of the goal before the ball reached in front of Firas Al-Braikan to make an attempt that hit the defenders and turned into a corner kick.

On the other hand, the first shot of Uzbekistan was at the 29th minute by Hussein Nurchayev, but the ball went easy in the arms of goalkeeper Nawaf Al-Aqidi.

The most prominent opportunity for Uzbekistan were lost when Ulugbek Hashimov sent a pass behind the defenders to Hojimat Arkanov to hit the ball from a narrow angle, but it passed over the crossbar (32).

The video assistant referee intervened in the 43rd minute in order to cancel a penalty kick that the referee had awarded to Saudi Arabia, due to an infiltration at the beginning of the attack.

The Uzbek national team responded directly through a quick attack, during which the ball on the right side reached Seyedazmat Mirsaidov, to shoot an attempt that hit a defender and turned into a corner kick.

The Saudi national team responded with a long pass, followed by Al-Braikan with his head towards Yahya Ayman, who played a surprising header in the direction of the empty goal, but the goalkeeper Nazarov corrected the situation and succeeded in removing it to a corner kick (45 + 4).

The Saudi national team started the second half strongly to open the scoring in the 48th minute after a quick attack through which Hamad Al-Yami passed the ball to Ahmed Al-Ghamdi on the penalty area to launch a powerful and accurate shot with his left in the upper corner of the goal to the right of goalkeeper Nazarov.

After this goal, the Uzbekistan tried to pressure to adjust the result, but the Saudi team managed to contain the attacks and tried to rely on quick counter-attacks.

The most prominent Uzbek opportunity was through Jasurbek Jalaldinov's shot from a distance, which passed over the crossbar (63), then substitute Ruslanbek Jianov scored a goal that was canceled due to an offside (71).

The Saudi national team managed to add the second goal after a quick counter-attack led by the substitute Turki Al-Ammar, who passed to Al-Braikan to advance before firing an accurate shot into the far corner of the Uzbek goalkeeper's goal (74).

Despite the attempts of Uzbekistan team to return with the result in the remaining minutes, the result remained unchanged so that the Saudi team crowned the precious continental title.

In the first round, the Saudi national team topped Group D with 7 points from three matches, with a goal difference against Japan, compared to 3 points for UAE and none for Tajikistan, then won the quarter-finals against Vietnam 2-0 and in the semi-finals against Australia 2-0.

On the other hand, Uzbekistan topped the standings of Group A with 7 points from three matches, compared to 4 points for Turkmenistan and two points for Iran and Qatar, and won the quarter-final against Iraq 3-2 by a penalty shootout after the two teams tied 2-2 in the original and extra time, and in the semi final it beat Japan 2-0.

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