Iran seal AFC U19 Championship 2020 spot

November 11, 2019 - 0:13

TEHRAN - Iran qualified for the AFC U19 Championship Uzbekistan 2020 as group winners, confirming their place among Asia’s elite with a 2-0 win over United Arab Emirates at PAS Stadium in Tehran, capital of Iran on Sunday.

Iran, the UAE and Kyrgyz Republic all came into Matchday Three still in contention, but Iran’s win and Kyrgyz Republic’s 0-0 draw with Nepal meant only the group hosts booked their ticket to the Finals.

UAE’s defeat to Kyrgyz Republic 48 hours earlier meant the Persians required only a point to secure top spot in the group, but they went one better with Aria Barzegar’s and Mahdi Hashemnezhad scoring to extend their perfect winning record.

While Iran celebrated a completed qualifying mission, UAE’s defeat confirmed their elimination, with Ferdo Milin’s side finishing a disappointing third in the group.

With their 1-0 lead intact, Iran continued to prosper after the interval, although it didn’t immediately translate into goals, with Hossein Nokhodkar spurning a terrific opportunity when he picked out Al Menhali despite a number of teammates offering support.

Iran return to the AFC U19 Championship having missed out on the 2018 edition, while the UAE will be absent from the finals for the first time since 2004.

The 11 group winners and four best runners-up will join Uzbekistan in the 2020 Finals.

Tajikistan have already qualified as Group C winners and should Uzbekistan finish either top of Group F of the Qualifiers or are among the best four second-placed teams, the fifth best runners-up will qualify.

Group A of the Qualifiers - featuring Iraq, Oman, Palestine, Kuwait and Pakistan - will be played on November 22-30 in Muscat, Oman.

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