Saudi Arabia makes a winning start at AFC U-23 Championship

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Players challenge for the ball during the Saudi Arabia and Tajikistan match.

DOHA, April 17: The opening round of the AFC U-23 Championship held in Qatar, Japan, Thailand, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia emerged victorious against their respective opponents – China, Iraq, the Emirates, and Tajikistan.

At Khalifa International Stadium, Saudi Arabia beat Tajikistan 4-2 in Group C. Rayan Muhammad netted in the 17th minute, and Haitham Asiri scored in stoppage time of the first half. In the second half, Ayman Yahya struck twice in the 55th and 61st minutes. Tajikistan’s Ruslan Kailov and Rustam Surov found the net in the 23rd and 64th minutes.

In the second group at Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, Japan secured a 1-0 victory over China, with Kru Matsuki scoring in the eighth minute of the first half.

The Thai national team secured its first three points in the tournament by defeating Iraq 2-0 at Al Janoub Stadium. Waris Choltung scored in the 26th minute, and Terasak Poipiamayi added another goal in the 65th minute.

In another match, South Korea secured a 1-0 win over the Emirates, with Lee Young Joon scoring in stoppage time of the second half.

Today’s fixtures include Indonesia facing Australia at Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium at 4:00 PM, and the Jordanian and Qatari teams meeting at 6:30 PM at Jassim bin Hamad Stadium.

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