20 January 2011
Iraq 1-0 DPR Korea
Doha: Iraq advanced to the quarter-finals of this year's AFC Asian Cup finals after Kerrar Jasim's first-half goal secured a 1-0 win over DPR Korea in their final group D game at Al Rayyan Stadium on Wednesday.
The midfielder scored the only goal on the night after 22 minutes to steer his side to their second win in the competition and secure their place in the knockout stage.
After a slow start from both teams, Iraq began to threaten Ri Myong-guk's goal and they almost took the lead in the 17th minute when Mustafa Kareem met Mahdi Kareem's corner with a forceful downward header but the ball bounced up and hit the underside of the bar before being cleared to safety.
However, Iraq's pressure paid off five minutes later when Mustafa Kareem's shot was parried by Ri but Jassim was first to get to the loose ball and he slid home into the empty net.
Needing to win to keep their last eight hopes alive, DPR Korea looked to hit back and Jong Tae-se called Mohammed Kassid into action with a free-kick from distance.
Jong had another chance five minutes later when he forced his way into the area but his powerful shot hit the side netting two minutes before Pak Nam-chol fired over the crossbar.
Iraq almost ended the first-half with a two-goal advantage when Jasim's good work down the left flank ended with a fizzing cross that Mustafa Kareem met ahead of a Korean defender but steered a volley well wide from six yards.
DPR Korea were the better side in the second-half and Ryang Yong-gi unleashed a powerful shot eight minutes into the second period but Kassid proved equal to his effort.
Iraq replied shortly afterwards and Jasim saw a fierce effort fly just over the crossbar before again trying his luck in the 75th minute but his shot only found the side netting.
The Koreans continued to press and Jong had another sight of goal when he collected the ball inside the area but could not beat Kassid, who was well positioned to make the save.
DPR Korea had another opening eight minutes before the end when skipper Hong Yong-jo found some space on the edge of the box but his shot was deflected wide as Iraq held on to their narrow advantage.