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2019 AFC Asian Cup

Football

Iran, Iraq progress to knockout phase

Rivals Iran and Iraq defeated Vietnam and Yemen, respectively, to book their spots in the last 16 of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

Sardar Azmoun nabbed both goals in Iran’s 2-0 win in Abu Dhabi, while teenager Mohanad Ali scored a brilliant early solo strike to kick-start Iraq’s 3-0 comfortable victory in Sharjah.

Iran and Iraq are set to meet at the Rashid Al-Maktoum Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Thursday to decide who tops Group D in a repeat of their heated quarter-final clash back 2015, which Iraq won on penalties.

Following Iran’s victory over Vietnam, coach Carlos Queiroz said,”It’s a pity our performance didn’t produce a couple more goals.

“But winning is the best medicine in football. To win two games and score seven goals — I have to praise my players because I am very demanding.”

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