Iraq complete last 8 line-up

Three-times winners Iran, who had already won the group and will play South Korea in the last eight, made nine changes to their team but still beat United Arab Emirates 3-0 at the Qatar Sports Club.

Iran ended Group D with nine points from three matches with Iraq second on six and North Korea and UAE on one. A first-half goal from Iraq midfielder Kerrar Jasim after a mistake by Korean keeper Ri Myong-guk was enough for the holders, who only needed to draw, to advance to the last eight.

Iraq, needing a point to qualify for the last eight, began the brighter side and were denied an opening goal by the woodwork in the 17th minute when Mustafa Kareem flicked Samal Saeed's header against the bar.

The holders only had to wait five minutes to open the scoring when Korean goalkeeper Ri Myong-guk fell backwards after parrying a 25-metre drive from Mustafa Kareem, allowing Kerrar Jasim to convert into an unguarded net.

The goal should have sparked the Koreans, who needed to win to advance, but they continued with their safety first mentality and were restricted to shots from distance.
Not even their 200 or so supporters, all wearing shirt and tie, could bring their team out of their shells.

Led by an excitable choreographer, the Korean fans chanted, waved flags and pumped their fists in unison throughout the drab contest.

German-based striker Jong Tae-se had the Koreans best chance with 13 minutes left but his low shot on the turn was straight at the goalkeeper. At the Qatar Sports Club, Iran made nine changes but maintained their 100 percent Group D record with a 3-0 win over UAE.

Iran broke the deadlock in the 70th minute when Gholam Rezaei chased down the right wing and crossed for Mohammad Gholami to head against the bar with goalkeeper Nasser beaten.

He responded first to the rebound and headed that against the bar before Arash Afshin planted the second rebound into the empty net for his first international goal. Afshin's joy was short-lived, however, as he was red-carded five minutes later for fouling the goalkeeper.

UAE defender Khalid Sebil was sent off and Mohammad Nori added a second when he swept a shot into the corner of the net. The UAE's Walid Abbas scored his second own goal of the tournament in stoppage time.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry