AFC Asian Cup: Semifinal Matchups, Live Streaming, Scores, and Bracket Update

 AFC Asian Cup: Semifinal Matchups, Live Streaming, Scores, and Bracket Update

The 2024 AFC Asian Cup being held in Qatar has lived up to its billing as the premier continental tournament for Asian football. With the group stages now over, fans have already been treated to plenty of thrills and upsets in the first two weeks.

Originally scheduled for 2023, the tournament was moved to January-February 2024 to avoid Qatar’s intense summer heat. The host nation is looking to defend the title they won back in 2019, but face tough competition from Asian heavyweights like Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The group stages saw perfect 9 point campaigns from Iran, Iraq and Qatar as expected. However, defending champions Qatar were nearly shocked by Palestine before winning 2-1. Japan and South Korea faced early stumbles but did enough to advance. Australia impressed by winning Group B and demolishing Uzbekistan 4-0 in the process.

Undoubtedly, the biggest shock came from Group E where underdogs Bahrain surprisingly topped the group above South Korea, Jordan and Malaysia. Bahrain made it to the last 16 knockout rounds for the first time since 2004. Their reward is a daunting clash with four-time champions Japan.

In another major upset, Jordan stunned title contenders Iraq with two goals in second half stoppage time to win 3-2. The dramatic late turnaround sparked wild celebrations from Jordan’s players and fans.

The Round of 16 knockout matches saw defending champs Qatar face stubborn resistance from Uzbekistan before triumphing on penalties. Eight-time champions Iran also needed penalties to overcome Syria. Goal machine Sardar Azmoun kept Iran’s hopes alive by scoring the decisive spot-kick.

Meanwhile, Australia’s title ambitions came to a heartbreaking end with a 2-1 extra-time defeat to South Korea. The Socceroos will rue missed chances in an intense 120 minutes of football.

Here are the key Round of 16 results so far:

Australia 4-0 Indonesia

Tajikistan 1-1 UAE (Tajikistan win 5-3 on penalties)

Iraq 2-3 Jordan

Qatar 2-1 Palestine

Uzbekistan 2-1 Thailand

Saudi Arabia 1-1 South Korea (South Korea win 4-2 on penalties)

Bahrain 1-3 Japan

Iran 1-1 Syria (Iran win 5-3 on penalties)

With so many upsets and narrow wins already, the AFC Asian Cup 2024 is living up to its reputation for surprises and unpredictability. Fans will be glued to the remaining knockout round clashes as Jordan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan all aim to continue their giant-killing runs. Who will eventually lift the trophy on February 10 remains anyone’s guess!

Related post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *