Debutants Palestine, Malaysia score their first points in AFC U23 Championship

Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-13 22:27:19|Editor: Yurou
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CHANGZHOU, China, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- Both Palestine and Malaysia scored their first points as the two debutants tied DPR Korea and Jordan respectively at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under 23 Championship on Saturday.

Palestine enjoyed an early lead thanks to Odday Badagh's shot in the 16th minute, but an own goal from Mohammed Rashid in the 74th minute cut the otherwise three full points to only one as Palestine tied DPR Korea 1-1 in their Group B match in Jiangyin, Jiangsu province.

For their final group matches, Palestine will meet Thailand, and DPR Korea faces Japan on Tuesday.

Palestine head coach Ayman Sandouqa said that "I think the draw was a bad result, we had so many chances to score another goal and get the three points. We started the game looking to score first, but we lost control over the midfield, and maybe that's why we drew."

DPR Korea head coach Ju Song-il commented: "Today's match was really important for us to advance, but the game didn't go as well as expected, which is unfortunate. They played better than the first game, especially their transition from defence to offence."

In Changshu, one of the four cities to host the championship in Jiangsu province, Safawi Rashid scored his second goal in two games with a penalty kick in the 43rd minute to help Malaysia draw 1-1 with Jordan after Ward Al Barri gave Jordan an early lead in the 16th minute.

The draw, which was Jordan's second, means that both sides still keep their chance of advancing to the last eight with one round of group games remaining.

Ong Kim Swee, the Malaysia head coach, said: "I believe the boys showed good character today. Before the game today, nobody gave us any hope and we almost snatched three points from Jordan, so overall I'm proud of the boys."

Ian Brunskill, the Jordan head coach, admitted that "it was another frustrating result for us really. On the balance of the game, we deserved to win the game with the chances we had. Malaysia had opportunities and hit the post twice."

In other two games on Saturday, Japan beat Thailand 1-0 in Group B while Saudi Arabia tied Iraq scoreless in Group C.