Iraq strike late to garner all 3 points

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 09 Jan 2019 12:17:58


 

ABU DHABI,

ALI Adnan swept home a brilliant, last-minute free-kick as former champions Iraq twice hit back to beat Vietnam 3-2 in the Asian Cup on Tuesday. It was a heart-breaking way for Vietnam to lose in Abu Dhabi, but no more than Iraq deserved for going for the jugular after Humam Tareq had hauled them level on the hour mark. “The first half was horrible,” said Iraq coach Srecko Katanec. “We showed nothing that we did in training — no power, no personality at all. Maybe it was first-game emotions, the players felt the pressure a little bit.”


“I knew it would be a tough game,” added the Slovenian.
“But the most important thing was the three points.”
Vietnam’s Golden Dragons took a shock lead after 24 minutes in the Group D clash in Abu Dhabi, defender Ali Faez panicking under pressure from Nguyen Cong Phuong and clumsily backheeling the ball past goalkeeper Jalal Hassan Hachim. Iraq, who defied the odds to win an emotional Asian Cup title in 2007, levelled 10 minutes later through striker Mohanad Ali, who profited from a defensive error to rifle home from the edge of the box.


Cong Phuong restored Vietnam’s lead three minutes before the break, stabbing in from close range after Nguyen Trong Huang’s shot had been parried by Hachim.
But Tareq lashed home a second equaliser following more horrific defending from the Vietnamese, who by that point looked to be running out of steam. Lazy foul A lazy foul on the edge of the penalty area subsequently presented Adnan with the chance to take all three points and he did not disappoint, curling a left-foot shot into the top corner, prompting several Vietnamese players to slump to the turf in despair.
Iraq join Iran on three points after their bitter rivals thrashed Yemen 5-0 on Monday. Iraq’s circumstances have scarcely improved since thir fairytale success 12 years ago, with security concerns impacting their preparations for tournaments.