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AFC Asian Cup 2023: South Korea Play Out 3-3 Draw Against Malaysia, Avoid Knockout Clash With Japan

Romel Morales struck late to even the group game and ensured Bahrain advanced as the group winner to face Japan. Bahrain won 1-0 against third-placed Jordan, which is also through to the knockout stage

AP
South Korea's Cho Gue-sung, centre, heads the ball in an attempt to score during the Asian Cup Group E football match between South Korea and Malaysia Photo: AP
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South Korea avoided a pre-quarterfinal clash with pre-Asian Cup favourite Japan after drawing with Malaysia 3-3 on Thursday. (Football News)

Jurgen Klinsmann's team advanced as the runner-up in Group E after conceding in the 15th minute of added time at Al Janoub Stadium. 

Romel Morales struck late to even the group game and ensured Bahrain advanced as the group winner to face Japan. Bahrain won 1-0 against third-placed Jordan, which is also through to the knockout stage.

South Korea was another of the pre-tournament favourites, but, like Japan, has had its setbacks in the group stage and progressed with a win and two draws. 

Son Heung-min penalty four minutes into injury time gave his team a 3-2 lead that would have sealed first place. But, Morales secured Malaysia's only point of the tournament by firing into the bottom corner from outside of the area.

South Korea led through Jeong Woo-yeong's header in the 21st. Faisal Halim levelled six minutes after half-time and Malaysia had the chance to go ahead after Seol Young-woo fouled Arif Aiman in the box. Aiman stepped up and converted from the penalty spot. 

South Korea equalized in the 83rd thanks to an own goal by Syihan Hazmi before the dramatic conclusion. 

Klinsmann may be grateful to avoid Japan for now, even as the four-time champion has had its problems and finished runner-up in Group D behind Iraq. 

South Korea will play the winner of Group F, which is currently Saudi Arabia. 

GROUP WINNER

Bahrain lost its opening game to South Korea but it advanced to the knockout stage at the top of Group E after back-to-back 1-0 wins.

Abdulla Yusuf Helal struck in the 34th at Khalifa International Stadium to beat Jordan. 

Despite losing, Jordan advanced as one of the best third-placed teams.

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