Iraq cruise into knockout stage of AFC Asian Cup


SHARJAH, UAE, Jan. 12 -- Iraq sealed a place in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup knockout stage after registering a 3-0 win over tournament debutants Yemen at the Sharjah Stadium on Saturday.

Mohanad Ali Kadhim opened the scoring for Iraq in the 11th minute, Bashar Resan Bonyan extended their lead to 2-0 on 19 minutes, and substitute Alaa Abbas powered home the stoppage-time third.

Yemen, which were thrashed 5-0 by Iran in their Group D opener, will face Vietnam in their group finale with progression as one of the best third-placed teams still a possibility for the moment.

Iraq, who came from behind twice to edge Vietnam 3-2 on Tuesday, now have six points and will take on Iran at the Al Maktoum stadium in Dubai on January 16.

Iran defeated Vietnam 2-0 earlier on Saturday.

The 2019 AFC Asian Cup, the 17th edition of the tournament, is running from January 5 to February 1.

For the first time, the Asian Cup is contested by 24 teams instead of 16 teams, as the finalists will contest a group stage consisting of six groups of four teams, followed by a knockout stage of 16 teams. Enditem

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