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|Zach|
07-22-2007, 04:13 PM
http://soccernet.espn.go.com/report?id=221886&cc=5901

BANGKOK, July 21 (Reuters) - Striker Younis Mahmoud scored twice to give Iraq a convincing 2-0 victory over Vietnam in an entertaining Asian Cup quarter-final on Saturday.

The Iraqi captain popped up unmarked inside the area to head Nashat Akram's lofted free kick into the net after two minutes and set the tone for the rest of the match.

Iraq were always on the attack and doubled their lead in the 65th minute when Mahmoud fired an inch-perfect free kick over the Vietnam wall and into the corner.

The victory was marred, however, by news that two people had been killed and 15 others wounded when Iraqis fired weapons into the air during celebrations in Baghdad on Saturday.

It was fourth-time lucky for Iraq, who have been knocked out at the quarter-final stage in the last three Asian Cups.

Their Brazilian coach Jorvan Vieira, however, said he was not satisfied with the performance.

'I hope we can play much better in the next game, it was good, but I'm not satisfied,' he told a news conference.

'We were not so positive, we relaxed after the goal, and this is dangerous.

Vieira said it was too early to talk about the possibility of Iraq winning the competition.

'We have a right to dream but we have to keep our feet on the floor,' he said.

Vietnam rarely threatened but could have equalised on the stroke of halftime when Chau Phong Hoa darted down the left and cut the ball back to the unmarked Nguyen Minh Phuong, whose powerful low shot was blocked by the Iraqi defence.

A vibrant atmosphere made up for the vast number of empty seats at the Rajamangala stadium, where flag-waving Vietnamese and Iraqi fans dressed in national colours blew horns and pounded on drums.

Mahmoud almost made it a hat-trick two minutes after his second goal when he side-footed the ball over the bar, and was agonisingly close in the dying seconds when he was put clean through on goal and shot wide of the target.

Vietnam coach Alfred Rieldl admitted his side were totally outplayed, but commended them for their performance in the competition.

'We had 90 minutes and we didn't even have one chance to win the game,' he said.

'We caused a sensation in Vietnam to reach the quarter-finals. No one expected us to get this far.'

Iraq will meet the winners of Sunday's match between South Korea and Iran in the semi-finals in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.

Frankie
07-23-2007, 11:52 AM
Iran already lost to Corea on PKs. Vietnam is far from a Soccer power.