Palestine and Syria seal historic Asian Cup last-16 spots

Palestine and Syria

Palestine and Syria – Palestine concluded their Group ‘C’ campaign in style with a 3-0 victory over Hong Kong after Oday Dabbagh bagged a brace, securing their place in the last 16 as one of the four best third-placed teams.

Palestine and Syria qualified for the round of 16 of the Asian Cup for the first time on Tuesday with victories in their final group matches.

Iran won the group after beating the United Arab Emirates 2-1 to finish with nine points.

Palestine was on track to finish second when Iran led the United Arab Emirates 2-0. But an injury-time goal from the United Arab Emirates’ Yahya Al-Ghassani pushed Palestine back into third place on goal difference after both teams finished with four points.


Uzbekistan joined Australia in the last 16 after the two teams drew 1-1 in their final group match, while Syria beat India in the other Group ‘B’ match to qualify as one of the best third-placed teams.Palestine and Syria

“We came here at the start of the tournament to top the group and we’ve done the job,” Australia coach Graham Arnold told reporters.

Palestine and Syria

Australia had already qualified for the knockout stage and guaranteed a top-two finish, with the result taking the 2015 champions to seven points, while Uzbekistan finished second on five points.

“It’s the most important thing & now we move forward game by game and see who our next opponent is.”Palestine and Syria

Palestine and Syria victory

Palestine opened the scoring when Dabbagh headed in under pressure in the 12th minute, while Zeid Qunbar doubled the lead with a cross header.

Hong Kong had a chance to score a consolation goal when they were awarded a penalty following a VAR check, but Everton Camargo’s penalty went off the crossbar.Palestine and Syria

Mehdi Taremi scored two goals for Iran in their victory, both goals assisted by Sardar Azmoun either side of half-time. Dabbagh then got his second when he was in the right place at the right time to tap in a rebound as Tamer Seyam saw his curling shot return to the crossbar.

Al-Ghassani had earlier seen a penalty saved by Iranian goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand, but the UAE striker found the bottom corner in the 93rd minute for the crucial goal that returned them to second position to qualify despite the defeat.

Australia Team:

Australia had an early goal disallowed for offside but took the lead on the stroke of half-time when they were awarded a controversial penalty following a VAR check for a handball by Odiljon Hamrobekov.

The Uzbek midfielder was trying to make a sliding tackle to stop Kusini Yengi in the box when his backhand made contact with the ball, & Martin Boyle confidently saved the penalty after sending Utkir Yusupov the wrong way.

“The Australian coach was honest and said it was never a penalty,” Uzbekistan coach Srecko Katanec said. “If these are the penalty rules, then no one knows the rules. There is no intention and it is still a yellow card.”Palestine and Syria

Uzbekistan Qualify

Uzbekistan equalized in the 78th minute when Azizbek Turgunboev broke through the defense to head Jaloliddin Masharipov’s cross to the far post.

In the group’s other match, Syria beat India 1-0 after Omar Khribin, the 2017 Asian Footballer of the Year, scored in the 76th minute to give the Middle Eastern team its first goal of the tournament.

It is the first time that Syria has advanced to the round of 16 since its Asian Cup debut in 1980.

Palestine and Syria

Syria finished with four points and the AFC later clarified that it is also qualified for the round of 16 as one of the four best third-place finishers in all groups “regardless of the final results of other groups.”

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