Sometime in the early hours of Thursday morning, the Olyroos – the Australian U23 team – might be able start making plans to head to Tokyo for the 2020 Olympic Games.
The Olyroos meet South Korea in the AFC U-23 tournament semifinals and if they win, not only will they play in the final against Saudi Arabia or Uzbekistan, but they will also punch their ticket to Tokyo.
Even if Australia lose, they can still qualify by winning the third place game.
South Korea – going for a 9th consecutive Olympics – is a difficult opponent, whose players have benefited from a K-League rule that requires every team to have two U-22 players, one of whom must start.
In addition they have the extra motivation of avoiding mandatory military service should they make it to the Olympics and eventually medal.
-Drew with Iraq 1-1 (Group stage)
-Beat Thailand 2-1 (Group stage)
-Drew with Bahrain 1-1 (Group stage)
-Beat Syria 1-0 (Quarterfinal)
-Coach is Graham Arnold, Socceroos coach and former boss of Sydney FC.
-Plenty of A-League talent on display including Al Hassan Toure (Adelaide United), Reno Piscopo (Wellington), Trent Buhagiar (Sydney FC) and Aiden O’Neill (Brisbane Roar).
-Beat China 1-0 (Group stage)
-Beat Iran 2-1 (Group stage)
-Beat Uzbekistan 2-1 (Group stage)
-Beat Jordan 2-1 (Quarterfinal)
-Coach is Hak-bum Kim, 59, won a K-League title with Seongnam FC.
-South Korea is the only team to have won every game at the 16-team tournament so far.
-Only goalkeeper Song Bum-keun has started every game
$3.50 Australia U23
$2.20 South Korea U23
Over/Under 2.5 Goals
$1.38 Under 2.5 Goals
$2.89 Over 2.5 Goals
Both Teams To Score