Asian Cup review

Group A of the Asian Cup produced some interesting results with Lebanon fighting back to draw with Iraq and Thailand almost upsetting Iran.

Group A of the Asian Cup produced some interesting results with Lebanon fighting back to draw with Iraq and Thailand almost upsetting Iran.

Two fantastic strikes by Abbas Chahrour and Moussa Hjeij saved the hosts Lebanon from an early exit as they came back from an early 2-0 deficit against Iraq.

For Iraq, Sabah Jadir scored a brace in Beirut?s City Sportive.

After a first-up defeat the hosts were in dire need of a boost but instead trailled after just five minutes.

After a scramble in the Lebanon box, Haidar Mahmood spotted Jadir unmarked in the six-yard box and the Al Talaba striker made no mistake with a stooping header.

Jadir then doubled Iraq?s lead, benefiting again from his team's great service. Co-striker Qahtan Chatir found space down the right to deliver a perfect cross which Jadir?s dispatched emphatically.

After 27 minutes Lebanon reduced the deficit when Abbas Chahrour picked up the ball 30 yards out and proceeded to drive his shot past an unsuspecting Hashim Khamis in the Iraqi goal and into the top left hand corner.

The equaliser for Lebanon was also something special.

Player of the match Moussa Hjeij?s curled an unstoppable 78th minute free-kick over the defensive wall and into the top corner.

Once again , Iraqi 'keeper Khamis could only stand and watch the ball fly into the net.

Thailand alsmost produced the greatest upset in Asian Cup history against France 98 qualifiers Iran.

However, 1999 Asian Player of the Year Ali Daei saved Iran's blushes to salvage a draw.

Thailand stunned one of the Asian Cup favourites and took the lead through Sakesan Pituratana in the 12th minute.

Thailand were expected to be no match for Iran but held onto their lead until the 74th minute.

From a free-kick Khodadad Azizi played the ball to Karim Bagheri who whipped the cross into the box. Daei rose majestically over the defence to direct his header into the bottom left hand corner of Phansa?s goal.

The Thai goal was created by Sutee Suksomkit's run and cross from the by-line. Parviz Boroumand in the Iranian goal could only palm the cross into the path of Sakesan who could not miss the tap in.

Iran and Iraq lead the group on four points with Lebanon and Thailand still a chance of progressing to the next round after picking up a point.

Iran face Iraq and Lebanon tackle Thailand in the final group matches.
Source: Sportal