Qatari coach Bruno Miguel Nogueira Pinheiro dropped Abdollah Ali Saei, Nasser Al Yazidi, Ahmed Suhail and the goalkeeper Salah Zakaria making four changes to his squad that played against Thailand. Shehab Mamdouh was the new custodian playing his first game of the tournament along with Nasser Abdulsalam, Homam Ahmed and Eisa Palangi who were the other changes.
Korean coach Jung-Yong Chung made three changes by bringing in Jeong Ho-Jin, Um Won-Sang, and Yim Jae-Hyeok in place of Oh Se-Hun who is serving a one-match ban after picking up a couple of yellow cards, Cho Young-Wook and Choi Jun.
Semi-Final: Korea defeated Qatar 3-1 at the Pakansari Stadium.
(KOR: Jeon Se-Jin 23’, 33’; Um Won-Sang 47’; QAT: Lee Jae-Ik (OG) 52')
Both Korea and Qatar employed a similar 4-2-3-1 formation. It was difficult to penetrate either team’s structure in the initial few minutes of the contest with both teams holding an even share of the ball possession.
Korea engaged to a slightly attacking 2-4-3-1 style with Kim Hyun-Woo and Lee Jae-Ik taking the Centre-back positions it allowed Hwang Tae-Hyeon and Lee Kyu-Hyuk to venture down the wings. Um Won-Sang, Go Jae-Hyeon and Jeon Se-Jin moved upfront to don a more attacking role. The Taeguk Warriors favored the left field to launch their attacks with 50% of their attempts arising from the left wing. They managed to shoot five off their thirteen attempts on goal.
Qatar transferred to a 4-4-2 formation with Hashim Ali moving to a role of an attacking left wingman while Nasser Abdulsalam and Khaled Mohammed controlled the midfield. Qatar translated four off their eight attempts on target.
The game began in wet conditions with Qatar having their first look at goal in the 16th minute. Khaled Mohammed’s long-range strike hardly troubled the Korean goalkeeper Lee Gwang-Yeon.
The game meandered along briefly with neither teams willing to push themselves to score. Out of nowhere, the Red Devils caught the Qatar defence napping following a throw-in. Um Won-Sang jinxed past his marker to send in a delightful pass in the 23rd minute which found Jeon Se-Jin ghosting behind his backmarker to tap the ball in for a simple finish.
The first goal for the Taeguk Warriors opened the floodgates after Ahmed Al Minhali brought down Um Won-Sang with a needless challenge. Jeon Se-Jin delivered a breathtaking free kick from 40 yards out, which found the top right corner past a leaping Shehab Mamdouh.
The Maroon’s gave away another foul after Nasser Abdulsalam brought down Go Jae-Hyeon. The resultant freekick from Lee Kyu-Hyuk was punched away by Shehab Mamdouh. But the Qataris were unable to clear the ball from their half, as Lee Jae-Ik pounced on the free ball and delivered a cross into the centre of the box. Um Won-Sang slammed the ball in to score the third goal late in injury time.
Abdulrasheed Umaru had a silent game thus far with Lee Jae-Ik and Kim Hyun-Woo having a tight leash over his movements.
But the tournament’s leading goalscorer, finally had his say when a weighted pass from Abdulla Almurisi found Abdulrasheed Umaru in the center of the goal. But Lee Jae-Ik pounced in front of Umaru and deflected the ball into the goal.
Abdulrasheed Umaru set up Khaled Mohammed with a beautiful cross in the 59th minute which was well saved by Lee Gwang-Yeon.
Um Won-Sang blasted a shot which missed the far post by a whisker. Jeon Se-Jin delivered an exquisite cross in the 67th minute which was headed behind for a corner by Youssef Ayman, as Um Won-Sang was setting himself up for a header.
A crucial header from Lee Jae-Ik from Abdulrasheed Umaru’s cross in the 89th minute, followed by a punch from Korean custodian Lee Gwang-Yeon kept the Maroon’s at bay.
The game turned ugly when Nasser Abdulsalam received a red card following his second yellow. Nasser turned around and taunted the referee before leaving the field in disappointment. The resultant free-kick from Lee Kyu-Hyuk got parried away by Shehab Mamdouh.
Both teams conceded 24 fouls each with Iranian referee Mooud Bonyadifard handing five yellow cards and a red card to Qatar. Korea meanwhile received three yellow cards.
South Korea will either play, Japan or Saudi Arabia in the Finals on the 4th of November, 2018. Qatar the highest scoring team in the competition were unable to replicate their form against the Koreans.