The Qantas Young Socceroos have gone down 2-0 to Iraq in the semi-finals of the AFC U-19 Championship at the Emirates Stadium in Ras al-Khaimah, United Arab Emirates.
After a scoreless first half, that had end-to-end action but not real goal scoring opportunities to trouble either goalkeeper, the Qantas Young Socceroos had an opportunity to break the deadlock six minutes into the second half when they were awarded a penalty when Iraqi defender Ali Adnan appeared to handle the ball in the box.
Unfortunately for the Qantas Young Socceroos on this occasion, their top goal-scorer from the tournament, Corey Gameiro, was not able to convert his attempt with Iraqi goalkeeper Mohammed Hameed producing a good diving save to his right to keep the scores level.
Iraq broke the deadlock on the hour-mark when Abdulraheem made the most of a cross from Adnan to take the lead..
From then on the Qantas Young Socceroos had to chase the game but found scoring opportunities hard to come by.
The match was sealed in the 85th minute when Abdulraheem lobbed a pass to Kadhim who then went one-on-one with Qantas Young Socceroos goal keeper Paul Izzo, rounded the Australian custodian and slotted home.
Although disappointed with the result, Qantas Young Socceroos Head Coach Paul Okon was proud of what his team had achieved during the tournament.
“It was a tough match this evening and we knew Iraq are a very good team. Iraq showed that this evening and there is no excuses, we just made a few too many mistakes and when you make mistakes like we did this evening you are made to pay,” Okon said.
“If we had converted the penalty the game could have been different but to the credit of the players they kept fighting to the end.
“I am proud of my players as we set out a goal to qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey and we achieved this and for that I congratulate them."
In the other semi-final match Korea Republic defeated Uzbekistan 3-1 .
Iraq will now meet the Korea Republic in the final of the AFC U-19 Championship at the Emirates Stadium, Ras al-Khaimah on Saturday 17 November (Kick-off 4:45pm local, 11:45pm AEDT).
Iraq 2 (Mohanad Abdulraheem KARRAR 60’, Jawad Kadhim HANTOOSH 85’)
Qantas Young Socceroos 0
Wednesday 14 November 2012
Emirates Stadium, Ras al-Khaimah, United Arab Emirates
Referee: Liu Kwok MAN (HONG KONG)
Assistant Referees: Lam Chi HO (HONG KONG) & Birak ZIAD (LEBANON)
Fourth Official: Ali SABBAGH (LEBANON)
Iraq line-up: 2.Mustafa Nadhim JARI, 3.Ali Adnan KADHIM , 5.Ali Faez ATIYAH , 6.Saif Salman HASHIM (4.Ammar Kadhim METEAB 90+1’), 9.Ahmed Abbas HATTAB , 10.Mohammed Jabbar Shawkan AL-MAYYAHI (7.Jawad Kadhim HANTOOSH 70’), 11.Humam Tareq FARAJ , 12.Mohammed Jabbar AREBAT, 16.MOHaNAD Abdulraheem KARRAR, 17.Ammar Abdulhussein Ahmed AL-ASADI (19.Mahdi Kamil SHILTAGH 82’), 23.Mohammed Hameed FARHAN(gk) (C)
Substitutes Not Used: 1.Saqr Ajail SALIH (gk), 8.Farhan Shakor TAWFEEQ, 13.Ali Qasim MSHARI, 14.Ridha Nassarullah RADHI, 15.Zeyad Tareq WELI, 18.Ahmed Abdulameer KADHIM, 20.Haider Khudhair WATTAN, 21.Ihab Kadhim MHAWESH, 22.Ali Yaseen YAS (gk)
Yellow Cards: Saif Salman HASHIM 72’, Mustafa Nadhim JARI 90+4’
Qantas Young Socceroos line-up: 1.Paul IZZO (gk), 2. Joshua BRILLANTE 3.Connor CHAPMAN, 4.Curtis GOOD (c), 5.Corey BROWN, 7.Corey GAMEIRO, 8.Terry ANTONIS, 11.Ryan EDWARDS (10.Jamie MACLAREN 79’), 14.Ryan WILLIAMS (19.Benjamin GARUCCIO 67’), 16.Jackson IRVINE (17.Hayden MORTON 58’), 20.Mustafa AMINI
Substitutes Not Used: 9. Adam TAGGART, 12.Liam JACOB (gk) 13.Tom KING, 15.Jason GERIA, 18.Jack DUNCAN (gk), 21.Mitchell OXBORROW, 22.David VRANKOVIC, 23.Travis COOPER
Not Eligible: 6.Reece CAIRA
Yellow Cards: Jamie MACLAREN 90+5’