South Korea, Iraq, Jordan score big wins on Day Four

South Korea, Iraq, Jordan score big wins on Day Four

QLNews
By QLNews

Lee Kang-In’s second-half brace helped South Korea beat Bahrain 3-1 in a Group E match of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium on Monday.

The Paris Saint-Germain winger thus helped his side make a perfect start to the tournament as they chase their first Asian title since 1960.

Iraq also got their AFC Asian Cup campaign off to a flying start with a similar 3-1 win over Indonesia in a Group D game at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.

Indonesia, returning to the Asian tournament after a 16-year gap, found the going tough against the spirited Iraqi side and failed to keep up.

Jordan made short work of Malaysia in front of a near-capacity crowd at the Al Janoub Stadium, running away as 4-0 winners.

Mahmoud Al Mardi opened Jordan’s scoring in the 12th minute before Mousa Tamari doubled his team’s lead six minutes later. He then scored again, only for the VAR to disallow it due to an offside.

Al Mardi scored his second goal of the evening in the 32nd minute before Tamari completed his team’s tally in the 85th minute.  

South Korea’s Hwang In-beom gave Jurgen Klinsmann’s side the lead in the 38th minute, but Abdulla Al Hashash levelled the scores six minutes into the second half. Lee Kang-in then struck twice in 13 minutes to seal full points for the two-time AFC Asian Cup champions.

The 22-year-old’s first goal was an exquisite strike from 25 yards, in the 56th minute. He then sealed the win with 21 minutes remaining, hitting the ball into the bottom corner of Ebrahim Lutfalla’s goal.

Though the South Koreans garnered final victory, the Bahrainis did not make things easy for them. They gave off an early warning when Mohamed Marhoon headed Komail Al Aswad’s free-kick over the crossbar.

South Korea’s Kim Min-jae’s pass found Lee Jae-sung in space in the penalty area and the FSV Mainz midfielder strode forward to angle a pin-point pass towards Hwang, who slotted his left-footed shot well beyond Lutfalla.

Juan Antonio Pizzi’s Bahrain pulled level in the 51st minute, Al Hashash scoring from eight yards out.

But the joy lasted only five minutes as Lee Kang-in put his side back in front, the former Valencia winger finding space in a central position 25 yards from goal and punishing the Bahrainis with a left foot strike that beat the goalkeeper in the inside of the post.

Son shot over the bar before Lee Kang-in delivered again, receiving possession from Hwang inside the area and stepping inside the defence to curl his second past the helpless Lutfalla.

South Korea will meet Jordan next on Saturday while Bahrain will play Malaysia the same day. 

Iraq faced some stiff resistance from Indonesia at the start, but coach Shin Tae-yong’s side gradually lost steam and the Iraqis came out on top.

Jesus Casas’ men came flying and nearly found themselves ahead after just three minutes when Ali Adnan whipped a free-kick from the right that was headed by Osama Rashid just wide.

Just as he did in UAE five years ago, Mohanad Ali opened Iraq’s Asian Cup account again. The 23-year-old forward was first to snatch a loose ball inside the Indonesian half, advancing into the box before applying a composed finish past the goalkeeper in the 17th.

Team Garuda restored parity with eight minutes left until the break. Young right-back Elkan Baggott showed great skill to dribble past his marker before sending a low cross to serve Ferdinan on a silver plate, allowing the latter to tap in the equaliser.

The Lions of Mesopotamia took the lead again seconds before the end of the first half. Rashid, who was at the right place at the right time, tucked home from point-blank after goalkeeper Ernando Ari pushed Ali Jasim’s drilled shot away into this path. The midfielder made no mistake to make it 2-1.

The third Iraqi goal arrived in the 75th minute through substitute Aymen Hussein, who won an aerial battle inside the Indonesia box before rifling the half-volley into the roof of the net.

Iraq will next face Japan at the Education City Stadium on Friday while Indonesia will face fellow ASEAN side Vietnam the same day at Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium.

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