UAE under-23 bow out fighting in AFC event

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UAE under-23 bow out  fighting in AFC event
Amjed Attwan Kadhim of Iraq gets past the UAE keeper to score Iraq's third goal in the quarterfinal.

Dubai - Defending champs Iraq claim 3-1 win in quarterfinals

By Agencies

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Published: Mon 25 Jan 2016, 8:09 PM

The UAE gave a stiff challenge to defending champions Iraq before losing 3-1 in the quarterfinals to bow out of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under-23 Championships at the Grand Hamad Stadium in Doha.
In the other quarter-final, Moon Chang-jin's 23rd minute goal helped South Korea to a narrow triumph in a tense affair with Jordan at the Suhein Bin Hamad Stadium, also in Doha.
Iraq will now meet Japan in the semifinals while South Korea clash against hosts Qatar on Tuesday.
The two finalists and the winner of the third place playoff will qualify automatically for this year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
After a closely-fought encounter had finished at 1-1 after 90 minutes, Mohanad Abdulraheem and Amjad Attwan Kadhim scored in the additional period to send Iraq past the UAE through to the last four.
The UAE was the better team and had the better of a tight first-half. They were unlucky not to surge ahead when Yousif Saeed's header from a Abdulla Kazim cross found the crossbar.
After struggling in the opening half, Iraq found their rhythm early in the second-half as Ali Faez tested UAE goalkeeper Ahmad Shambih with a clever free kick.
UAE broke the deadlock with just 15 minutes to go when Alaa Ali Mhawi directed Mohamed Al Akberi's pass into his own net after coming under pressure from Saeed.
Two minutes later Iraq restored parity as Ali Hisny capitalised on a defensive error from Mohamed Surour before rolling the ball into an empty net.
With neither team being able to find a winner, the match went into extra-time and just as the end of the first period loomed, Abdulraheem was on target to give his side a slender 2-1 lead.
The setback saw UAE bringing out more players forward in search of a late leveller. This left them exposed at their own goal, allowing Abdulraheem to set up Kadhim to complete a nervy win for Iraq.
Iraq will now face the challenge of Japan, who beat Iran 3-0 in extra-time on Friday thanks to goals from Yuta Toyokawa and Shoya Nakajima. Both teams needed 120 minutes to emerge from their quarterfinal ties but Japan will have one more day of rest than Iraq.
Olympic bronze medallists at London 2012 South Korea started impressively against Jordan and could have taken the lead early on but Lee Seul-chan's deflected effort flashed past the post. Korea's early pressure paid off with Ryu Seung-woo collecting Kwon Chang-hoon's low curling cross from the left before passing it off to Moon, who calmly slotted the ball home.

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