Iraq beats China with injury-time winner
Iraq captain Younus Mahmood scored a dramatic winner in injury
time to earn his side a 1-0 victory over 10-man China on Friday in
Group A of the Asian zone qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup.
The turning point in the game at Doha’s Al Arabi Stadium came
when China’s Zhang Linpeng was sent off in the 85th minute of a
keenly contested match for hacking down Mahmood as he headed for
China’s defense was caught on the counter attack in the second
minute of stoppage time by Mahmood, who found space and raced into
the penalty area before drilling a powerful shot past goalkeeper
Jiang Bo and into the roof of the net.
Iraq is second in the group with nine points from four games.
Group leader Jordan has 12 points after beating Singapore 2-0,
while third-place China has three points and Singapore has
China enjoyed most of the first-half possession but was let down
by a lack of finishing in front of goal.
Li Weifeng had a shot blocked by the Iraqi defense marshaled by
Quasay Muneer in the 19th minute, while China had a goal ruled out
for offside in the 27th.
The best save of the match came in the 79th minute when China’s
enterprising midfielder Hao Jinmin curled in a free kick that was
parried Iraq goalkeeper Mohammed Kassid at full stretch.
China fans in the stadium occasionally entertained the crowd
with a Mexican wave, while Iraqi supporters celebrated their team’s
victory with chants of ‘Younus Younus’ .