DOHA: Kyrgyz Republic and Oman made their respective exits from the Asian Cup in Qatar after playing to a 1-1 draw in their final Group F tie at the Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium.

A late goal from Kyrgyz Republic’s Joel Kojo cancelled out Muhsen Al Ghassani’s opener with Indonesia the biggest winners as the Southeast Asian side advanced to the Round of 16 as one of the best four third-placed finishers.

Needing a win to confirm their knockout stage spot, Oman settled quickly and went ahead in the eighth minute through Al Ghassani.

Kyrgyz Republic goalkeeper Erzhan Tokotaev could only parry Jameel Al Yahmadi’s free-kick, with Al Ghassani taking advantage of the ensuing chaos to slot the ball home.

Boosted by the goal, Oman took a firm grip on proceedings with Kyrgyz Republic having to work hard to not concede again.

The Central Asian side, however, should have equalised in the 27th minute when Gulzhigit Alykulov set up Farkhat Musabekov, only for the unmarked midfielder to send his shot high over the crossbar.

The White Falcons survived another scare just before the break when Oman came close to doubling their lead through Ahmed Al Kaabi’s free-kick but the attempt was cleared by Kyrgyz custodian Tokotaev.

Kyrgyz Republic started the second half with more determination and thought they had restored parity when substitute Beknaz Almazbekov’s cross into the penalty box was neatly headed into the back of the net by forward Kojo, only to have it overturned by the VAR.

Oman responded with an effort of their own, Salaah Al Yahyaei sprinting down the left flank before presenting Ghassani with an opportunity but the Al Seeb defender was too slow to react, allowing Tamirlan Kozubaev to hook the ball to safety.

Oman ramped up the pressure with Abdul Rahman Al Mushaifri and Arshad Al Alawi both having efforts but it was Kyrgyz Republic who found the back of the net in the 80th minute, Kojo taking advantage of a Khalid Al Braiki error to net the equaliser.

That set the stage for a grandstand finish with both sides trying desperately to find the winning goal to no avail as their respective campaigns came to an end.

Qualified teams:

GROUP FIRST PLACE SECOND PLACE THIRD PLACE

A Qatar Tajikistan

B Australia Uzbekistan Syria

C Iran UAE Palestine

D Iraq Japan Indonesia

E Bahrain South Korea Jordan

F Saudi Arabia Thailand

LAST 16 FIXTURES

Jan. 28: Australia v Indonesia

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Tajikistan v United Arab Emirates

Jan. 29: Iraq v Jordan

Qatar v Palestine

Jan. 30: Uzbekistan v Thailand

Saudi Arabia v South Korea

Jan. 31: Bahrain v Japan

Iran v Syria

Quarter-finals: Feb. 2-3

Semi-finals: Feb. 6-7

Final: Feb. 10

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