AFC ASIAN CUP

Rajamangala Stadium

Referee: Jasim Karim | Attendance: 6000

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Iraq

  • Nashat Akram 23'
  • Hawar Tahir Mulla Mohammed 60'
  • Muhamed Karrar 86'

3 - 1

FT

Australia

  • Mark Viduka 47'

Iraqis stun Socceroos

BANGKOK, July 13 (Reuters) - Iraq pulled off a stunning 3-1

upset win over Australia at the Asian Cup on Friday to leave

the tournament favourites in danger of an embarrassing early

exit.

Nashat Akram scored from a free kick in the first half

after a howler from goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, and Hawar Mulla

Mohammad and Karrar Jassim Mohammad finished off the

Australians after the interval.

The Socceroos had briefly drawn level through when their

captain Mark Viduka scored early in the second half, but were

totally outplayed by a team who had to train and play

qualifiers in neutral Jordan because of the war in their

homeland.

The Iraqis, who have reached the quarter-finals at the last

three Asian Cups, moved to the top of the Group A standings

with four points from two games.

Thailand also have four points, while Oman and Australia

have a point each.

The Australians, making their first appearance at the Asian

Cup and regarded among the title favourites, can still advance

to the next phase if they win their last pool match against

co-hosts Thailand on Monday. They would also need a favourable

result in the other match between Iraq and Oman.

The Australians had promised to atone for their lacklustre

display in Sunday's 1-1 draw with Oman but gifted Iraq the lead

in the 21st minute.

Akram delivered a seemingly innocuous free kick straight at

Schwarzer but instead of catching the ball, the Middlesbrough

keeper was distracted by the presence of Saleh Sadir and

watched in horror as the ball floated past him into the net.

Tim Cahill, who scored in stoppage time to earn the

Australians a 1-1 draw against Oman, was introduced into the

attack after halftime and his presence had an immediate impact.

The Australians equalised within two minutes of the

re-start when Brett Emerton curled the ball into the box for

his skipper, who climbed above two defenders to head the ball

past Noor Sabri.

The Australians began to play with more fluency and

cohesion in the second half but their eagerness to attack was

undone by sloppy defending.

Akram slid the ball between two defenders to Hawar Mulla

Mohammad who slammed the ball pas Schwarzer to put his team 2-1

ahead after 58 minutes and Karrar Jassim Mohammed tapped in the

final goal five minutes from the end of regular time after

Mahdi Karim's strike had been palmed away by Schwarzer.

Scoring Summary

  • Iraq
  • Australia
(47') Mark Viduka

Teams

  • Iraq
  • Australia
Substitutes
Substitutions
Yellow Cards
H Khadim Taher (62')
Q Munir (81')