AFC Asian Cup 2019: Heartbreak for Vietnam as Iraq snatch last-gasp win



Iraq twice came from behind to beat Vietnam 3-2 in their Asian Cup opener in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

Ali Adnan Kadhim scored less than a minute from time, firing a free kick over the wall and into the back of the net from 25 metres. His winner sparked wild celebrations among Iraqi fans at Zayed Sports City Stadium while leaving Vietnam's players and supporters heartbroken.

It was a finish few would have expected less than half an hour into the absorbing Group D contest, when the Vietnamese took the lead courtesy of an own goal. Nguyen Quang Hai sent a through pass to Nguyen Trong Hoang when defender Ali Faez Atiyah came between him and goalkeeper Jalal Hassan, only to knock the ball into his own net on 24 minutes.

Iraq cancelled the lead 11 minutes later after a defensive error from Vietnam centre-back Do Duy Manh left Mohanad Ali Khadim with only keeper Dang Van Lam to beat, which he did with ease executing a low shot.

Vietnam regained the lead three minutes before half time when Nguyen Cong Phuong stabbed in a rebound after Jalal had blocked Quang Hai’s effort from inside the area.

Only two minutes after replacing Osama Jabbar in the second half, Iraq midfielder Humam Faraj took one touch to score as he slammed a rebound into the roof of the net. An hour into the match, Iraq had equalised for the second time.

Deflated Vietnam next meet group leaders Iran, who beat Yemen on Monday, at Al Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Meanwhile, Iraq face cup debutants Yemen in Sharjah. Both matches are on Saturday.

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