Iraq 2-1 Qatar: match report
Iraq shook off an early one-goal deficit to dominate Qatar and deserve victory in a showdown of Group B's favourites at the Gulf Cup of Nations in Kuwait.
Iraq started with much more intensity but were a goal behind after 17 minutes when Qatar broke on the counter. Hassan Khalid teed up Almoez Ali and he drove a rasping shot beyong Jalala Hassan Hachim.
As the first half grew older, it looked like Iraq were running out of options. Aymen was proving a handful up front but too often, their creativity mustered up half-chances for their attackers.
Just before the end of the first 45, Iraq were awarded a free from downtown and Ali Faez Atiyah, the centre-half, stepped up and sent it screaming past Saad Al Sheeb. It was what Iraq deserved and they could finally start thinking about the victory in the second half with the equaliser on the board.
An inspired substitution saw Ali Husni come on after 65 minutes. He slotted home the winner just second later and Iraq had completed the comeback. Qatar pushed on for the equaliser but impotence in front of goal continued and they were left wanting as the ref blew the whistle and Iraq grabbed all three points in the Group B encounter.
Iraq vs Qatar live stream online: as it happened
Iraq vs Qatar: Gulf Cup Group B match preview
Qatar can guarantee themselves a semi-final place with victory over Iraq in what is a match-up between two three-time Gulf Cup winners today. After thumping Yemen 4-0 in their Group B opener, Felix Sánchez's tournament holders sit top of their section, two points clear of Iraq and Bahrain, who drew 1-1 on Saturday.
Mohannad Abdul-Raheem's 89th-minute equaliser against Bahrain on Saturday ensured that Iraq remain firmly in the hunt for a last-four place but, with the Bahrainis expected to beat Yemen in the group's other clash today, Basim Qasim's side are likely to need three points to keep themselves inside the two qualification spots going into Friday's final round-robin fixtures.
Iraq vs Qatar live stream online: Gulf Cup betting
Qatar are the bookies' favourites to claim the three points at the Al Kuwait Sports Club Stadium, but not overwhelmingly so: the 2022 World Cup hosts are valued at 29/20, with Iraq not far back on 11/5.