Jordan overturns 10-man Iraq, hosts Qatar edge Palestine in AFC Asia Cup challenge

AFC Asia Cup. Photo Courtesy: UNI

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IBNS-CMEDIA: With two stoppage time goals from Yazan Al Arab and Nizar Al, Jordan dramatically overturned 10-man Iraq 3-2 to advance into the quarterfinals of AFC Asian Cup here on Monday.

Iraq reached the knockout stage with perfect records, winning all three group stage matches including a 2-1 victory over four-time winners Japan, while Jordan qualified as one of the four best third-placed teams.

Although Iraq controlled the ball, Jordan had better opportunities playing on the counter and broke the deadlock in the first half injury time, when Yazan Al Naimat dribbled all the way through the Iraq defence from center circle, beating the goalkeeper with composure.

In the 68th minute, Suad Natiq headed home a corner to level for Iraq. Eight minutes later, Aymen Hussein drilled a right footed volley into the far corner to make it 2-1 in Iraq’s favour.

Iraq’s joy, however, was short-lived as Hussein received his second yellow card for excessive celebration and was sent off the pitch, which completely changed the momentum of the match.

Playing with one man advantage, Jordan dominated the last minutes of the match and their efforts finally paid off in the sixth minute of injury time when Mousa Al Tamari’s shot was parried away, and then Al Arab pounced to fire in the rebound.

Just one minute later, Al Rashdan unleashed a thunderous strike from distance as Jordan regained the lead and powered into the quarterfinal to meet the tournament’s dark horse Tajikistan.

In the other round of 16 match on Monday, Akram Afif contributed one goal and one assist as hosts Qatar rallied to beat Palestine 2-1.

Oday Dabbagh scored a solo goal for Palestine in the 37th minute, but Qatar leveled before half-time whistle with a corner kick combination between Afif and Hassan Al Haydos, who made a perfect run to score.

In the 49th minute, Afif converted a penalty, after Almoez Ali was brought down in the penalty area by Palestinian defender Mohammed Saleh.

Qatar will play against the winners between Uzbekistan and Thailand in the quarterfinal.