FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 & AFC Asian Cup 2023 Preliminary Qualification Round 2 - IRQ 2:0 HKG
Hong Kong met up with Iraq in Basra International Stadium, Basra, Iraq on Thursday evening for an intriguing clash in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 & AFC Asian Cup 2023 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 Group C. Hong Kong put up a fierce fight on the evening but fell short in a 2:0 decision.
Barely eight minutes into the game, Hong Kong almost fell behind, as the referee spotted a Hong Kong player committed a foul inside his own box and quickly pointed to the penalty-spot. Iraq’s Mohanad Ali assumed the spot-kick duty but saw his shot brilliantly saved by Hong Kong goalkeeper Yapp Hung-fai. The game remained scoreless.
On the 16th minute, Ali came up with another scoring chance for Iraq, as the livewire connected with a teammate’s delivery and belted a tight-angle shot that just missed finding the intended target.
Iraq continued to dominate the proceedings and finally opened the score on the 38th minute. Striker Mohanad Ali found himself on the receiving-end of a teammate’s cross, then leapt high inside the Hong Kong box and sent a lobbing header home. Iraq was up 1:0.
Iraq pressed for the next goal in the second-half and nearly got rewarded. On the 57th minute, a straight-forward free-kick delivery saw the ball being sent deep into the Hong Kong penalty area. Ahmed Ibrahim latched out but directed the ball over the crossbar.
It was still Iraq on the 62nd minute. This time, a dangerous cross from the left side was nodded away by Hong Kong defender Andrew Russell. The ball fell in front of Basar Resan and the Iraqi player duly pulled the trigger, sending the ball just wide off the Hong Kong goal.
Hong Kong suffered a huge blow on the 79th minute and fell further behind. Iraq striker Mohanad Ali was brought down inside the Hong Kong box by a visiting player. The referee duly awarded Iraq with a penalty-shot. Ali Adnan took care of the spot-kick and tucked the ball home, making it 2:0 in the process.
Hong Kong had a great chance to break the goose-egg late in the game. Deep in stoppage time, substitute Alessandro Leonardo spun and fired inside the Iraq penalty area but saw his effort nicely paved away by goalkeeper Mohammed Hameed.
The 2:0 score stood towards the final whistle, as Iraq went on to defeat Hong Kong and picked up maximum points in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 & AFC Asian Cup 2023 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 Group C encounter.