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Iraq leave it late to defeat Kuwait in friendly 

Basra: Srečko Katanec's Iraq came from behind to defeat Kuwait 2-1 with late goals from Mohammed Dawood and Aymen Hussein in a friendly at the Basra International Stadium on Wednesday.

Kuwait were playing their first match in Iraq since their last visit on 15 October 1989 when the Lions of Mesopotamia prevailed 1-0 at Al Shaab International Stadium thanks to a goal from Natiq Hashim.

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The visitors were the better side in the first half, opening the scoring after 22 minutes when Fahed Al Hajri sent a cross into the area which was headed home by Eid Al Rashidi.

Kuwait nearly doubled their advantage just moments into the second half but Iraq goalkeeper Mohammed Hameed made a point blank save off Mobarak Al Faneeni's effort before Shabaib Al Khaldi fired the rebound over the crossbar.

Kuwait wasted another opportunity to score in the 53rd minute when Fawaz Al Otaibi charged into the area but he saw his shot sail past the upright.

Iraq found the equaliser in the 79th minute when substitute Mohammed Qasim supplied Mohammed Dawood with a cross which the forward headed home past Sulaiman Abdulghafour.

With two minutes left on the clock, Kuwait were reduced to 10 men when Hammoud Al Rashidi was sent off for a foul on Hussein inside the area, with Iraq scoring through Hussein from the penalty spot.

The two sides are preparing for the resumption of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 with Iraq leading Group C with remaining matches against Hong Kong, Cambodia and Islamic Republic of Iran.

Kuwait are second in Group B, two points behind leaders Australia who they are scheduled to face on March 25.

Photo: Iraq Football Association

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