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Iraq stun S.Korea, to face Qatar in final
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2006-12-14 15:01
Host nation Qatar scored a famous 2-0 victory over defending champions Iran on Tuesday to reach the Asian Games soccer final, while Iraq pulled off a shock 1-0 win over South Korea in the other semi-final.

Iraq stun S.Korea, to face Qatar in final
South Korea's Park Chu Young (R) fights for the ball with Haeder Hantosh of Iraq during their semi-final soccer match at the 15th Asian Games in Doha December 12, 2006. [Reuters]
Uruguay-born Sebastian Quintana put Qatar ahead in the 28th minute, capping a flowing move down the right wing by lashing a left-foot shot past Iranian goalkeeper Hassan Roudbarian.

Fellow striker Hussain Abdulrahman sealed the win with a goal in the 74th minute to end Iran's hopes of a comeback and send 10,000 home fans into a frenzy.

The host nation will meet Iraq in the final after the underdogs beat the heavily-fancied Koreans 1-0 by virtue of Samer Mujbel's 24th minute header.

A swift counter-attack caught the Korean defence upfield and when captain Younes Khalef's shot was blocked on the line Mujbel was on hand to head home.

It was the first goal conceded by Korea after four previous clean sheets and their misery was compounded when defender Kim Chi-woo was shown the red card in the final minute.

"It was a very good victory for us," said a delighted Iraq skipper Khalef, who mill miss the final after picking up his second yellow card. "You can call anyone in Iraq and you will hear the celebrations.

"This is a simple gift from us to the people of Iraq."

Iraqi players hugged each other and danced as hundreds of flag-waving Iraqi fans went wild with joy in the stands at the Al-Gharrafa stadium.

"I thank God for the victory," Iraqi coach Yahya Manhel told reporters. "Our team is exhausted after playing eight matches. The Korean team played very well, but we could stop them with a good strategy."

Korea's Dutch coach Pim Verbeek praised the spirit of the Iraqi team, putting the defeat down to poor finishing.

"We should have scored the first goal, then we would have had no problems," he said.

Qatar will play Iraq in the final on Friday.


Source:Reuters 
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