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FIFA U-20 World Cup: Kudos to Iraq, Korea Republic youth

News 04 Jul 2013, 09:17 IST
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Kuala Lumpur: AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has saluted the spirit of Iraq and Korea Republic under-20 teams for making it to the quarter-finals of the ongoing FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey.

Iraq edged past Paraguay 1-0 in extra-time while Korea Republic overcame Colombia 8-7 on penalties in their Round of 16 encounters.

In a repeat of the AFC U-19 Championship final last year, both these teams will meet each other in the last eight stage, guaranteeing a semi-final spot to an Asian side. Korea Republic defeated Iraq 4-1 on penalties to win the Asian title for the record 12th time.

“The way our young teams have held their nerves throughout the game shows their never-say-die attitude,” Shaikh Salman said.

“I would like to congratulate both Iraq and Korea Republic teams for their thrilling victories. They have made all of us proud.

“The determination of these youngsters to achieve success for their countries and to show the world that Asian teams are among the title contenders is commendable.

“Three out of eight quarter-finalists are from Asia and this is a great achievement for Asian football. These youngsters are surely the future stars of our continent and I can confidently say that we are on the right track.

“I am proud that the Asian youth teams have soared to great heights under my presidency and it will be my endeavour to strengthen the grassroots and youth structure for more success in the future.”

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