Asian Cup: Jordan fight back to beat Iraq, Qatar overcome Palestine

By Sports Desk January 29, 2024

Jordan fought back to beat 10-man Iraq 3-2 and clinch their place in the Asian Cup quarter-finals on Monday.

Iraq's Aymen Hussein turned from hero to zero as, moments after putting Iraq ahead, he was sent off, having received a second yellow card for excessive celebrations at Khalifa International Stadium.

Down to 10 men, Iraq could not withstand Jordan's fightback and conceded twice in stoppage time to end their hopes of winning the competition for a second time.

Hussein struck in the 76th minute to spark wild celebrations, including him sitting cross-legged on the field and mimicking eating.

Iraq's joy soon turned to frustration, though, when referee Alireza Faghani booked Hussein for a second time.

It got worse for the 2007 champions when Yazan Al Arab levelled in the fifth minute of added time, with Nizar Al Rashdan going on to drill in a winner two minutes later.

Jordan advanced as one of the best third-placed teams and took the lead in the first minute of first-half stoppage time through Yazan Al Naimat.

Suad Natiq equalized for Iraq prior to Hussein's fifth goal of the tournament sparking the chaotic finale.

Jordan will play tournament debutants Tajikistan in the last eight.

In the day's other match, Akram Afif delivered again for Qatar as the hosts and defending champions overcame Palestine 2-1.

Afif has established himself as one of the stars of the tournament, and if he can keep up this form he may yet achieve his ambition of joining a European club.

The forward struck from the penalty spot in the 49th — his fourth goal of the Asian Cup — as Qatar came from behind at Al Bayt Stadium, with Hassan Al Haydos having cancelled out Oday Dabbagh's clinical finish.

Qatar will play either Uzbekistan or Thailand for a place in the last four.

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