AFC U23 Championship
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Qualifiers - Group C: Iraq through after holding IR Iran

Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Iraq rejoice U23

Tehran: Iraq sealed their place in the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 Finals as Group C winners after playing to a 0-0 draw with Islamic Republic of Iran, while Turkmenistan and Yemen also ended their campaign with goalless draw on Tuesday.


Iran entered their final Group F tie knowing a draw wouldn't be enough as they were trailing on goal difference after being tied on six points with Iraq.

However, Iraq gave the Central Asians no leverage as they the game to Iran at the Azadi Stadium.

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It was a match which had so much running on it and the competitiveness saw Iran's Amir Roustaei receiving the first booking of the game 10 minutes in, before Iraq's Ihab Jabir Dabis and Muntadher Sattar Jabbar also received yellow cards by the 38th minute.

Both sides were fired up in search of the opening goal, but Iranian goalkeeper Al Kadhim Hadi and his opposite number Meraj Esmaeili were in fine form as they kept the game goalless heading into the break.


Posted by Iraqi Football Association on Tuesday, 26 March 2019


Iran head coach Zlatko Kranjcar was the first to make a substitution at the hour mark, and by the 81st minute, both sides had made all available changes with the match still deadlocked.

In the end, it was celebrations for 2013 champions Iraq while Iran were left to rue their missed opportunities.


Both teams were out of contention after suffering losses to Iraq and Islamic Republic of Iran, and entered the tie hoping to end their qualifying campaign on a high but neither could find their way to a goal.

Turkmenistan were the first to make a change to their attacking lineup, bringing in Shanazar Tirkishov in the 62nd minute before Yazghlych Gurbanov also joined the fray six minutes later but Yemen defended well to keep the game deadlocked.

Towards the final 10 minutes of the match, Yemen called upon Abdullah Zahrah and Anes Salem Al Maari, but they too didn't have an impact on the match as the match ended in a draw.

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