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Al Rakha: Saudi Arabia will make the short trip across the King Fahd Causeway for next year’s AFC U-19 Championship after qualifying as Group B winners after two second-half goals saw them defeat Yemen 2-0 in Tuesday’s decisive fixture.

Following a goalless first half, the Group B hosts finally broke the deadlock at the Prince Saud bin Jalawi Stadium through Sami Al Naji’s 61st minute strike before Abdulrahman Al Yami ensured he ended the qualifiers having found the net in all three matches when he scored the Saudis second, an his fourth overall, with quarter-of-an-hour remaining. 

Saudi Arabia will join the nine other group winners and five best second-placed teams (which will be confirmed in due course) at the AFC U-19 Championship, with hosts Bahrain receiving automatic entry to next year’s 16-team tournament.

Yemen’s two previous wins sees them finish second in the Group B standings ahead of Turkmenistan, who took third after defeating Syria 4-1 in Tuesday’s earlier fixture. 

The Central Asians were 3-0 up at the break courtesy of Begench Akmamedov’s eighth-minute opener and a brace from Mihail Titov. (20th 26th). Alaa Edeen Yasin Dali pulled one back for the Syrians with a 74th minute penalty only for Guvanchmyrat Gurbangulyyev to restore Turkmenistan’s three-goal cushion just 60 seconds later.