Iraq qualified for the quarter-finals after overturning its delay to beat Kuwait 3-1 on Tuesday at the Central Stadium in Qurashi, as part of the third and final round of Group B competitions in the 2022 AFC U-23 Cup in Uzbekistan.
The Kuwaiti team advanced through Youssef Al-Rashidi’s goal in the 12th minute, before the Iraqi team responded with three goals through Muntadhar Muhammad (35), Moaamel Aqili (59) and Muhammad Al-Baqer (82).
The two teams entered the match at a rapid pace, and the Iraqi team took the initiative to threaten the Kuwaiti goal when its player Hussein Ammar hit a powerful ball with his left foot from outside the penalty area, which came easily in the arms of goalkeeper Abdul Rahman Al-Fadhli (5).
From a quick attack from the left side, the Kuwaiti team succeeded in opening the result when Fawaz Al-Mubelish sent a cross that reached inside the penalty area to Youssef Al-Rashidi, to hit it from the first touch with his right foot from the middle of the box, into the net of Iraqi goalkeeper Hassan Ahmed (12).
The referee awarded a penalty kick to the Kuwaiti team after defender Hassan Matrouk blocked striker Al-Rashidi inside the penalty area. Al-Rashidi failed to put the ball into the net after he hit it with his right foot over the goal (28).
On the other hand, the Iraqi team had a dangerous opportunity when Abdul Reda Al-Aqili passed a through ball inside the penalty area towards Hassan Abdul Karim, who in turn hit a powerful ball with his left foot that passed close to the top left corner of the goal (33).
The Iraqi pressure resulted in scoring the equalizing goal after the team captain, Kaa Ramadan, penetrated from the left side of the penalty area and passed a ball to the next from behind, Muntazer Al-Hassan, who sent it towards the far post into the net (35).
With the start of the second half of the match, the Iraqi team almost scored the second goal after the right wing player Ammar sent a high cross towards the far post, which was turned by striker Ramadan with his head. The brilliance of goalkeeper Al-Fadhli sent it to a corner (47).
Ramadan missed another opportunity for Iraq when he evaded the Kuwaiti defense on the left side of the penalty area and hit a powerful ball with his left foot from a difficult angle, the Kuwaiti goalkeeper managed to push it away to a corner (54).
The Iraqi team managed to score the second goal, after midfielder Maamel Abdul Redha received a ball on the left side of the penalty area and evaded the Kuwaiti defense before hitting it with his right foot towards the top of the right corner to settle into the net (59).
The referee canceled a goal scored by the Iraqi striker Wakaa in the 62nd minute due to a mistake in favor of the Kuwaiti team inside its penalty area, after referring to the video assistant technology.
Wakaa continued his quick incursions from the left side and passed an elaborate ground cross towards Abdul Karim, who hit the ball with his left foot from the middle of the penalty area close to the goal (78).
The Iraqi team consolidated its progress by scoring the third goal after a corner kick taken by Abdul Redha from the right side to the middle of the penalty area, ending the match with the supremacy of Iraq.