Matchday Six - Group B: Al Jaish 1-1 Al Zawraa Club
Riffa: Al Zawraa suffered a last-minute heartbreak as they were knocked out of the 2018 AFC Cup after a dramatic 1-1 draw with Syria's Al Jaish on Tuesday.
The Iraqis looked on track to advance to the Zonal Semi-Finals, taking a 1-0 lead into added time of the second half, only to be clawed back by a late Ahmed Ashkar equaliser for Al Jaish.
After a cautious start and limited attempts from the two sides during the first half, Al Jaish’s Ward Al Salama had a magnificent chance to open the scoring few minutes into the second half, translating a perfect pass with a one touch that missed the target by few centimetres.
Al Zawraa responded in the 62nd minute with the opening goal after a smart one-two between Mohannad Abdul Raheem and Fiston Abdul Razak, the teamwork resulting in a powerful shot from the Burundian that bounced back into the path of Abdul Raheem who took his chance and fired the Iraqis in front.
Hussein Ali almost doubled the score in the 85th minute after a splendid sprint and individual work but his shot was blocked by the Syrian defence.
As Al Zawraa were preparing to celebrate, Ashkar took advantage of a cross from Moumen Naji inside the box to drive home the equaliser for Al Jaish.
The draw means both sides were eliminated, with Al Zawraa finishing second with 10 points, two points behind group leaders Al Ahed who advanced to the Zonal Semi-Finals.
Al Jaish, meanwhile, finish third after collecting seven points.
The result handed the best runners-up qualification ticket to Al Zawraa's domestic foes Air Force Club who join Al Ahed and Jordanian duo Al Faisaly and Al Jazeera in West Asia's last four.