2020 Qualifiers - Group A: Iraq seal Finals spot, heartbreak for Kuwait
Muscat: Iraq emerged Group A winners of the AFC U-19 Championship Uzbekistan 2020 Qualifiers despite a 3-3 draw with Oman in their final match on Saturday.
Abdllah Mohammed Al-Suwayid's strike in the second minute of added time secured Iraq the point that saw them edge Kuwait to top spot on goal difference.
Both Iraq and Kuwait - who drew 3-3 with Palestine - had to come from behind to salvage a point as the race for a spot in the Finals went down to the wire at the Seeb Sports Stadium in Muscat.
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Iraq 3-3 Oman
Iraq went into the tie knowing all they had to do was avoid defeat to advance to the 2020 Finals but came up against an Oman side determined to end their campaign on a high note.
Midfielder Omar Nasser Al Salti gave Oman the lead in the 22nd minute, which was doubled by Osama Sulaiman Al-Hadabi five minutes later.
Iraq fought back and narrowed the deficit through captain Muntadher Mohammed in the 34th minute.
Oman, however, were playing their best game of the tournament and Al-Hadabi scored his second of the night just before the half-time whistle was blown.
Hussein Abdullah Lawend scored five minutes into the second half to give Iraq hope and they were rewarded right at the end as defender Al-Suwayid struck the equaliser which sealed their place in the 2020 Finals.
Kuwait 3-3 Palestine
Kuwait had to come from 2-0 and 3-2 down to salvage a point which ultimately proved not to be enough
Palestine, needing a win to keep their qualification hopes alive, had a dream start with Reebal Dahamshi giving them the lead in the 24th minute.
Having entered the tie with six points to their name, Palestine played with added urgency after the goal and their efforts were rewarded when Khalied Alnabrisi doubled their lead in the 33rd minute.
Kuwait, however, gave themselves hope going into the break when defender Fawaz Alsaab narrowed the deficit in the 44th minute.
Having given themselves a boost, Kuwait saw more of the ball in the second half and drew level through Bander Almutairi in the 65th minute.
The joy lasted mere seconds though as Alnabrisi restored Palestine's lead just a minute later.
There was more drama to come as Kuwait salvaged a point with captain Abdulaziz Mahran scoring the equaliser four minutes from the end but it would prove not to be enough after Iraq's late show against Oman.
Photos: Oman Football Association
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