Indonesia lose to Uzbekistan and face Iraq for Paris spot. GETTY IMAGES

Indonesia were beaten 2-0 by Uzbekistan in the semi-finals of the AFC U-23 Asian Cup, setting up a showdown with Iraq, who were beaten by Japan to secure an eighth place at the Olympics.

Indonesia's U-23 football team failed to reach the final of the AFC U-23 Asian Cup, losing 2-0 to Uzbekistan, but they remain in the hunt for a place at Paris 2024. They must now earn their place at Paris 2024 by taking on Iraq next Thursday. Should they lose, they still have a chance of reaching the French capital by beating Guinea in an Asian-African play-off.

Their Central Asian rivals broke Indonesian hearts in the Qatari capital of Doha when Khusayin Norchaev slotted home a cross between two defenders in the 68th minute and Prutama Arhan scored an own goal in the 86th.

The second goal came after Indonesia had been reduced to 10 men when Rizky Ridho was sent off for a high tackle that was deemed violent.

Had Indonesia won, they would have been playing football at an Olympic Games for the first time in nearly seven decades, since the Soviet Union eliminated them from the 1956 Melbourne Games. However, their chances remain alive if they beat Iraq, or even if they lose and secure a play-off place against the Africans.

The AFC U-23 Asian Cup is the Asian Football Confederation's qualifying tournament for the Olympic Football Tournament, which is played primarily by under-23 teams, with three exceptions allowed for older players in each team.

Indonesia's hopes of qualifying received a significant boost last week when they defeated Asian powerhouses South Korea.

Meanwhile, Japan secured their eighth Olympic appearance with a 2-1 win over Iraq, joining Uzbekistan as Asia's representatives at the Games. Although they had previously won the biennial tournament, they had not done so in Olympic years, which prevented them from qualifying for the Games.

Uzbekistan captain Abdurauf Buriev was delighted to have secured a historic Olympic berth, but still had his sights set on the Asian title. "It's a very important moment in my career, but I can't say more because it was a very emotional match and we still have a game to prepare for," said the midfielder. "I didn't feel any pressure as captain, it gave me extra motivation and I concentrated on the game and getting the win."