Shaikh Salman hails Uzbekistan for historic AFC U20 Asian Cup™ triumph
AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has congratulated Uzbekistan on claiming their first-ever AFC U20 Asian Cup™ title after the hosts defeated five-time winners Iraq 1-0 in the AFC U20 Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan 2023 Final at the Bunyodkor Stadium in Tashkent on Saturday.
Roared on by a sold-out 33,834 capacity crowd, captain Umarali Rakhmonaliev’s successful conversion from the penalty spot in the 72nd minute earned the home side their maiden title. Consequently, the Central Asians joined the likes of Japan, the Korean Republic, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq as the only nations to have won the Asian title at the U17, U20, and U23 levels.
Shaikh Salman said: “On behalf of the Asian football family, I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to Uzbekistan, led by head coach Ravshan Khaydarov, on this historic victory and I have every faith that this achievement will serve as an inspiration to the entire football community in Uzbekistan.
“Credit must also go to Iraq for showcasing exceptional consistency and fighting spirit in a thrilling final, which once again exemplified the undeniable talent emerging from Asia.
“The Uzbekistan Football Association (UFA) also deserves our praise for their investment in strengthening their youth development system, which forms the cornerstone of success at all levels, and I am confident that this latest triumph is just a sign of more to come at the senior level in the coming years.
“We must also congratulate Japan and the Korean Republic as well as the two finalists for sealing their places at the FIFA U-20 World Cup, which will be held on our great Continent in Indonesia in May, and we wish all four teams the very best of success in their efforts to make Asia proud.”
The AFC President also took the opportunity to praise the efforts of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and the UFA for their impeccable hosting capabilities and warm hospitality, outlining his confidence in the nation’s ability to stage the AFC U20 Women’s Asian Cup™ next year after also successfully hosting the AFC U23 Asian Cup™ in June 2022.
“I would like to convey my sincere appreciation to the LOC and the Uzbekistan FA for its willingness to host the AFC’s competitions time and again in another clear example of Asian football unity,” added the AFC President.
“We must applaud them for their immaculate attention to detail and I am confident that the UFA will continue to provide an unrivalled and world-class stage for our players, teams, and passionate football fans, as outlined in the AFC’s Vision and Mission.”
Relive all the drama and excitement from the captivating AFC U20 Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan 2023 here.