Five Previous Title-Holders Reach Quarter-Finals in AFC Asian Cup

Doha, Qatar: The AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 quarter-finals will feature five former champions among the eight teams that advanced after the Round of 16 concluded yesterday.

Iran, three-time winners, secured the last spot by defeating Syria 5-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in regular and extra time at the Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium.

Japan, a four-time champion, had already secured their place, winning 3-1 against Bahrain earlier in the day.

The quarter-finals, starting on Friday, will witness Tajikistan, a surprise package, facing Jordan at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan. Tajikistan advanced by defeating the United Arab Emirates 5-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw, marking their debut campaign in the quarter-finals. Jordan also impressed with a 3-2 victory over Iraq.

The second quarter-final on Friday will feature Australia against South Korea at the Al Janoub Stadium. Australia comfortably won 4-0 against Indonesia in the Round of 16, while South Korea needed penalties to defeat Saudi Arabia.

This match will be a repeat of the 2015 final, where Australia emerged victorious in extra time.

Saturday's action will start with Iran facing Japan, with Iran overcoming a resilient Syrian side in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw in regular and extra time. Japan, seeking a record-extending fifth title, bounced back from a group stage defeat to Iraq to advance to the quarter-finals for the eighth time.

The fourth quarter-final will see Uzbekistan challenging defending champions Qatar at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor. Uzbekistan defeated Thailand 2-1 in the Round of 16, while Qatar secured a 2-1 victory over Palestine, extending their AFC Asian Cup win streak to 11 consecutive matches. Akram Afif and his teammates aim to continue their impressive run in the tournament.