Asian Youth Cup: Iraq beats Japan on penalties and qualifies for the final

The Iraqi national team qualified for the final after defeating Japan 5-4 in a penalty shootout after the two teams tied 1-1 in normal time and 2-2 in extra time on Wednesday at Jar Stadium in Tashkent, within the semi-finals of the AFC U-20 Youth Cup 2023 in  Uzbekistan.

In normal time, the Iraqi national team advanced in the first half through Ali Jassim’s goal at the 12th minute, but the Japanese national team equalized by Takakura Inaka (83).

Then Iraq advanced again through the goal of Muhammad Jamil (103), but the Japanese team came back to score the equalizer through Naoki Komata (118).

In the penalty shootout, Iraq scored five successful attempts, while the Japanese team scored three goals from four attempts.

In the group stage, Japan topped the fourth Group standings with 9 full points from three matches, as it beat China 2-1, Kyrgyzstan 3-0 and Saudi Arabia 2-, then beat Jordan 2-0 in the quarter-finals.

On the other hand, Iraq ranked second in the first Group with 4 points from three matches, after beating Indonesia 2-0, losing to Uzbekistan 0-1, drawing with Syria 1-1, and winning the quarter-finals against Iran 1-0.

It is noteworthy that the teams that finish in the first four places in the tournament qualify for the FIFA U-20 Youth World Cup 2023 in Indonesia.

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