Iraq se­cures spot in AFC U20 Fi­nals

Muscat Daily - - SPORTS -

Mus­cat - Iraq emerged Group A win­ner of the AFC U19 Cham­pi­onship Uzbek­istan 2020 Qual­i­fiers, which con­cluded at the Seeb Sports Sta­dium on Satur­day de­spite a 3-3 draw with hosts Oman in its fi­nal match.

Ab­dul­lah Mo­hammed al Suwayid's strike in the se­cond minute of added time se­cured Iraq the point that saw it edge Kuwait to top spot on goal-dif­fer­ence and book a spot in the Fi­nals.

Both Iraq and Kuwait - which drew 3-3 with Pales­tine - had to come from be­hind to sal­vage a point as the race for a spot in the Fi­nals went down to the wire. Iraq went into the tie know­ing all it had to do was avoid de­feat to ad­vance to the 2020 Uzbek­istan Fi­nals but came up against an Oman side de­ter­mined to end its cam­paign on a high note.

Mid­fielder Omar al Salti gave Oman the lead in the 22nd minute, which was dou­bled by Osama al Had­abi five min­utes later. Iraq fought back and nar­rowed the deficit through cap­tain Mun­tad­her Mo­hammed in the 34th minute.

Oman’s Had­abi scored his se­cond of the night just be­fore the half-time whis­tle was blown. Hus­sein Ab­dul­lah Lawend scored five min­utes into the se­cond half to give Iraq hope and it was re­warded right at the end as de­fender Suwayid struck the equaliser, which sealed its place in the 2020 Fi­nals.

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