In the first knockout round of the U20 Asian Cup, Iran was upset. They lost 1-0 to Iraq, and were finally eliminated from the semi-finals. The result of this game was beyond many people’s expectation, and Iran was also the first group to be eliminated.
In the group stage, Iran scored 6 points and finally beat Australia and Vietnam to win the first place in Group B.. Unexpectedly, in the first game of the knockout, they suffered a blow. In the face of the second Iraqi team in Group A, the Iranian team was not in the state, and finally they paid the price.
Although the strength is above the opponent, the Iranian team’s performance in this game is really terrible. After 97 minutes (plus stoppage time), they threatened their opponent’s door with a set-piece. In the 71st minute, the Iranian player took a free kick and was saved by the Iraqi goalkeeper.
After that, the game completely entered the Iraqi team’s time. In the 81st minute, the Iraqi team almost scored a goal. They crossed the bottom after a breakthrough on the right. Unfortunately, the players who outflanked in front of the door missed the ball and missed an empty goal.
In the 91st minute, the efforts of the Iraqi team finally paid off. Jassim broke through resolutely after taking the ball in the frontcourt. After he entered the restricted area, he suddenly started to volley and finally sent the ball into a dead corner. Because the shot was too sudden, the Iranian goalkeeper didn’t even have time to respond. This goal also helped the Iraqi team to kill their opponents. They also became the first team to reach the semi-finals and won tickets for the World Youth Championship.
After the game, the Iranian players couldn’t accept the result at all. Their players stood with their hands on the court for a long time, and even some players were crying on the ground. This Asian powerhouse, after losing this game, has been eliminated. Originally, they were favourites for promotion, but because of their inaction, they were killed by their opponents. After the whole game, the Iranian team was too big. If they had stepped up their attack early, the result might have been very different.
In contrast, the Iraqi team saw that the Iranian team was so negative on the court. They decisively accelerated in the second half, and finally the Iraqi team was rewarded for its courage. After the game, Iraqi players reveled on the field, while their opponents were extremely lonely. The joys and sorrows of football were staged in the same venue.
It is worth mentioning that the success of the Iraqi team will also give China confidence. On March 12th, Beijing time, China men’s soccer team will play against South Korea, and both sides will compete for a semi-final place. Although the opponent is very strong, as long as we are willing to work hard, we definitely have a chance to reach the semi-finals like the Iraqi team!