U23 Asian Cup In Numbers: Five Nations In Hunt For Second Title


(MENAFN- The Peninsula) The Peninsula

Doha, Qatar: The AFC U23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024 kicks off tomorrow with 16 teams aiming to lift the coveted trophy.

Ahead of the opening day matches, the-AFC takes a look at the key facts and figures of the sixth edition of the tournament
.

Champs in full force

All five former winners will be vying to become the first side to lift the trophy for a second time, with Saudi Arabia the defending champions. The other former winners are Iraq (2013), Japan (2016), Uzbekistan (2018) and Korea Republic (2020).

Saudi Arabia lead the way

Saudi Arabia have featured in the final of three of the previous five editions, emerging runners-up in 2013 and 2020 before finally laying their hands on the trophy two years ago.

Paris 2024 lure

The top three teams will qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics, with the fourth-placed side to face Guinea in a playoff
on May 9 for a possible fourth Asian side advancing to the Games.

Olympic medallists

Japan (1968) and Korea Republic (2012) are the only Asian teams to win medals at the Olympic Games with both finishing third. However, no Asian team has won a medal since the AFC U23 Asian Cup became the Olympic qualifier in 2016.

Indonesia join the party

Indonesia are the only side who will be making their tournament
debut, becoming the 25th team to feature in the AFC U23 Asian Cup since the 2013 edition.

Hotshot Norchaev

Uzbekistan's Khusain Norchaev will be aiming to carry his Qualifiers' form into the Finals, with the forward having netted six goals. Other players who hit the back of the net regularly in the Qualifiers and will feature in the Finals are Iraq's Ridha Fadhil Mayali (4), Saudi Arabia's Abdullah Radif (4) and Kuwait's Salman Mohammed (4).

Awesome force

Iraq, the 2013 champions, were the highest scoring team in the Qualifiers with 21 goals, two ahead of 2018 winners Uzbekistan. Saudi Arabia were the third highest scorers with 12.

Tough nuts to crack

Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Korea Republic, Thailand and United Arab Emirates booked their spots in the Finals without conceding even once in the Qualifiers.

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The Peninsula

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