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AFC U23 2020 review after 2 rounds: South Korea No.1 contender, West Asia outclass East Asia

AFC U23 2020 review after 2 rounds: South Korea No.1 contender, West Asia outclass East Asia

The fate of 4 groups has now been revealed after 2 rounds of the group stage, thus contenders for the title have shown their power and ability to make it to the final match.

After a thumping victory against Bahrain U23 in the first match, Thailand U23 surprisingly came up short and suffered their first defeat at the match against Australia U23.

On the other hand, Bahrain U23 almost created an upset but they failed at the last minute to end the match against Iraq U23 at a 2-2 draw.

AFC U23 2020 review after 2 rounds: South Korea No.1 contender, West Asia outclass East Asia

In group B, Japan U23 was confirmed to be the first eliminated team, as they suffered a bitter 1-2 defeat against Syria U23. Title contender Qatar U23 drew their second match at the competition, after a goalless confrontation against Saudi Arabia U23.

AFC U23 2020 review after 2 rounds: South Korea No.1 contender, West Asia outclass East Asia

Group C witnesses the dominance of South Korea U23, as they advanced to the next stage via a 2-1 victory against Iran U23. At the other match, Uzbekistan U23 sent China U23 home early after a 2-0 victory, to maintain the 2nd place.

AFC U23 2020 review after 2 rounds: South Korea No.1 contender, West Asia outclass East Asia

As in group D, another goalless draw from the runner-up Vietnam U23 against Jordan U23 could make them go home early at the group stage, whereas at the earlier match, the UAE U23 had an easy 2-0 victory to eliminate DPR Korea U23.

AFC U23 2020 review after 2 rounds: South Korea No.1 contender, West Asia outclass East Asia

Only South Korea U23 is confirmed to have advanced to the next stage after the second round of the competition, showing their class at the continental level. With this form and the playing style they are demonstrating consistently matches after matches, there is no doubt that it is Kim Hak Bum and his players the number 1 contender for the AFC U23 Championship 2020.

Another notable phenomenon at this competition is the outclass of the West Asian teams to the East Asian. Nearly all the West Asia teams have asserted their physical dominance in the matches, leaving the East Asian team vulnerable and incapable of fighting back. The results? Three East Asian teams have been eliminated for now, namely Japan, DPR Korea and China.

AFC U23 2020 review after 2 rounds: South Korea No.1 contender, West Asia outclass East Asia

Apart from South Korea, many other predicted contenders for the title have put on unimpressive performances. The current runner-up Vietnam U23 is still solid at the back, but their attacking front lacks quality and luck. They are now at the 3rd place with no goals scored and no goals conceded, and maybe on the verge of elimination.

AFC U23 2020 review after 2 rounds: South Korea No.1 contender, West Asia outclass East Asia

The Asian Cup champion Qatar also has only 2 points after 2 games. They will face Japan U23 – who was once a force but has received early home tickets – in the final match.

With only 1 team confirmed to qualify, the final round of the group stage will be much anticipated, as the others battling our for the final 7 spots to go head-to-head at the knock –out phase.