Qatar account for Iraq to reach Asian Cup quarters

Qatar’s Bassam Alrawi celebrates scoring the winner against Iraq, in Abu Dhabi. (Reuters)
Updated 22 January 2019
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Qatar account for Iraq to reach Asian Cup quarters

  • Bassam Alrawi curled in a free-kick to take the Qataris into the last eight for a third time
  • It was Qatar’s fourth win in four games this tournament after topping their group

ABU DHABI: Qatar beat Iraq 1-0 in a full-blooded contest to reach the Asian Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday.
Bassam Alrawi silenced the doubters on 62 minutes when he curled in a free-kick to take the Qataris into the last eight for a third time.
It was Qatar’s fourth win in four games this tournament after topping their group and the least they deserved from a clash brimming with passion, if low on genuine quality.
Iraq, shock Asian Cup winners in 2007 and semifinalists four years ago, carried very little attacking threat until Atalanta’s Ali Adnan fizzed a free-kick just wide 12 minutes from time.
Seemingly more interested in snarling at the referee every time a decision went against them, Iraq ultimately paid for their lack of ambition.
At the final whistle, their players slumped to the turf.
Qatar enjoyed the best of the early skirmishes, Abdelkarim Hassan volleying against the bar before Hatim Abdelaziz missed a sitter on the stroke of half-time.
Sudan-born forward Almoez Ali, who needs one more goal to equal Iranian Ali Daei’s record of eight in a single Asian Cup, had a quiet night, keeping his powder dry for Friday’s quarter-final.


Hashmatullah Shahidi shines as Afghanistan shock Pakistan in World Cup warm-up

Updated 29 min 42 sec ago
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Hashmatullah Shahidi shines as Afghanistan shock Pakistan in World Cup warm-up

LONDON: Hashmatullah Shahidi’s unbeaten 74 paved the way for Afghanistan to clinch a surprise three-wicket win over Pakistan in Friday’s World Cup warm-up match in Bristol.
After being routed by England in their recent one-day international series, this was another blow for Pakistan just six days before the World Cup begins.
Pakistan were bowled out for 262 after captain Sarfaraz Ahmed decided to bat first.
Mohammad Nabi took 3-46 to keep Pakistan from establishing control despite a powerful innings of 112 from 108 balls from Babar Azam.
Only Shoaib Malik’s 44 offered any other threat for Pakistan, who struggled to keep Afghanistan in check during the run chase.
They came up against dynamic effort from Hazratullah Zazai, who scorched Pakistan with a 28-ball 49 in the first Powerplay.
From that point on, the asking rate was always in control, with Hashmatullah’s 102-ball innings aided by Nabi’s quickfire 34 as Afghanistan sealed the win with two balls left.