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DOHA: Three-time champion Iran came from behind to beat holder Iraq 2-1 in their Asian Cup Group D game here on Tuesday.
Iman Mobali was the hero for Iran when his free-kick — which was an intended cross — drifted home with six minutes left. There was a brief period of silence before the highly-anticipated clash at a half-full Al-Rayyan Stadium for 77 people who died on Sunday evening in a plane crash in Iran.
Iraqi talisman Younis Mahmoud scored from close range in the 13th minute after Emad Mohammed smartly nodded the ball back across goal.
The equaliser came in the 42nd minute when former Bolton Wanderers player Andranik Teymourian chipped the ball cleverly through to an unmarked Gholam Reza Rezai. The latter rifled the ball past Kassid.
UAE holds North Korea
Earlier, North Korea was forced to dig deep to salvage a point against a rampant United Arab Emirates as it opened its campaign in less than convincing fashion. The Koreans, who made the World Cup in South Africa but lost all three games, withstood a barrage of UAE attacks throughout the game. After North Korea captain Hong Yong-Jo squandered an early penalty,
UAE gradually shifted into top gear against a disorganised Korean side. Hong's spot kick bounced off the bar in the eighth minute after Hamdan Al Kamali clipped down ace striker Jong Tae-Se in the box to earn a yellow card.
On Monday, South Korea began its campaign with a polished passing display to beat Bahrain 2-1.
Iran 2 (Rezai 42, Mobali 84) bt Iraq 1 (Mahmoud 13); North Korea drew with UAE 0-0; South Korea 2 (Koo 40 & 52) bt Bahrain 1 (Aaish 85-pen). — Agencies
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