UAE Claim Asian Cup Third Place
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The United Arab Emirates defeated Iraq 3-2 in the Asian Cup third-place playoff in Newcastle, Australia, on Friday.
The UAE's previous best finish was second in 1996, while Iraq was champion in 2007.
UAE’s captain Ahmed Khalil netted in the 16th minute. However, the Lions of Mesopotamia struck back with goals from Waleed Salim and Amjad Kalaf giving them a 2-1 advantage at half time.
Ahmed Khalil equalized the match in the 51st minute, expertly created by Omar Abdulrahman.
Disaster struck for Iraq in the 55th minute when a turnover at the back forced defender Ahmed Ibrahim to pull down Ali Mabkhout inside the box.
Ibrahim was red-carded and Mabkhout converted the penalty, taking his Asian Cup goal tally to five and giving UAE a match-winning lead.
The final match will be held Saturday between host Australia and South Korea.