Asian Cup: Australia and South Korea suffer shock exits | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 25.01.2019
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Asian Cup: Australia and South Korea suffer shock exits

Not even Son Heung-min could save South Korea in their attempt to win the Asian Cup. Another shock followed when Australia were beaten by tournament hosts United Arab Emirates.

UAE 1-0 Australia
(Ali Mabkhout 68')

Australia suffered the biggest shock of the day when Milos Degenek's back pass was intercepted and converted by Ali Mabkhout, sending the defending champions crashing out and the tournament hosts through.

In a game relatively short of clear-cut chances, it was the UAE who would looked more likely to score. After Mat Ryan had kept the hosts at bay, Mabkhout sent a free header over the bar.

Australia surged back at the start of the second half, but were denied a goal by the offside flag. Then Degenek made his mistake and despite protest and a video review of whether Degenek had been fouled before playing the pass, the goal stood.

A sold out crowd — a rarity in the competition — roared in delight at the final whistle as the UAE beat the side who they lost to four years ago. Their victory sets up a potentially politically sensitive semifinal against Qatar.

Qatar celebrates Abdelaziz Hatim's goal (Getty Images/K. Nagahama)

Qatar celebrate Abdelaziz Hatim's goal, which was enough to send one of the tournament favorites South Korea out.

South Korea 0-1 Qatar
(Hatim 78')

Qatar are set to participate in their first ever Asian Cup semifinals after shocking two-time winners South Korea in the quarterfinals on Thursday in Abu Dhabi.

Abdelaziz Hatim netted the game's only goal as Qatar held on to pull off the upset.

Read more: Heavyweights Japan and Iran book semifinal spots

South Korea, nicknamed the Tigers of Asia, enjoyed a tiger's share of possession throughout most of the match as Qatar seemed content to sit back in the first half. But the Maroons came out swinging in the second half, firing eight shots after the intermission, including three on target.

Though Tottenham forward Son Heung-min tested the reflexes of goalkeeper Saad al-Sheeb on multiple occasions, it was Hatim who eventually found the breakthrough. The 28-year-old forward, who plays his club football at al-Gharafa in Qatar, received a pass from the left before firing a left footed shot from outside the penalty area past the dive of South Korea's Kim Seung-Gyu. 

Hwang Ui-jo appeared to have found an equalizer two minutes later, but the video assistant referee determined the South Korean forward was offside.

The defeat means that South Korea, who won the first two Asian Cups in 1956 and 1960, have failed to reach the final four for the first time since the 2004 tournament in China.

dv/mf (AFP, Reuters, dpa)

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