BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Vietnam U-23 march on in the Asian Games men's football event, after edging out Syria U-23 1-0 in their quarter-final tie on Monday.
The 2018 AFC U-23 Championship finalists were made to work hard by the West Asian side, and neither side were able to break the deadlock, until extra time.
Substitute Nguyễn Văn Toàn pounced first on Nguyễn Anh Đức's chip that hit the crossbar, stabbing the ball in to score the only goal of the match, in the 108th minute.
They remain the only Southeast Asian side in the tournament, after Malaysia U-23 and hosts Indonesia U-23 were knocked out in the round of 16 stage.
They will face the mighty South Korea U-23 in the semis on Wednesday. The two sides met in the AFC Championship group stage earlier this year, with the East Asians winning the tie 2-1.
South Korea meanwhile booked their semi-final spot after downing AFC Championship winners Uzbekistan U-23 4-3. Hwang Hee-chan scored his second hat-trick in the tournament, netting goals in the 5th, 35th and 75th minutes, but goals by Jaloliddin Masharipov (17') and Ikromjon Alibaev (53'), and a 57th minute own goal by Hwang Hyun-soo required the match to be decided in extra time. In the 11th minute Alibaev was shown his second yellow card and given his marching orders, and Uzbekistan were down to ten men. Two minutes from time, Ui-jo was fouled in the penalty box, resulting in a penalty. Hwang Hee-chan put it away for the winner.
In the two other quarter-final clashes, Japan U-23 edged out Saudi Arabia U-23 2-1, while UAE U-23 beat North Korea U-23 5-3 on penalties, after the fulltime and extra time had ended tied at 1-1.
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