Sep 07, 2016

    Saudi Arabia win while China earn a draw


    NAWAF Al Abed buried two penalties in the last nine minutes as Saudi Arabia came from a goal down to beat regional rivals Iraq 2-1 in World Cup qualifying yesterday.

    War-torn Iraq, playing their home fixture in Malaysia's Shah Alam, struck early through Mohannad Abdul-Raheem and looked headed for victory as the clock

    ticked down.

    But on 81 minutes, after Saad Natiq brought down Hassan Muath in the box, Abed drilled home a powerful equaliser

    from the spot.

    And there was more to come after Abed won another penalty which

    he converted in the 87th minute to hand the Saudis their second win in two third-round matches so far.

    It took Abed's tally to three late penalties in Saudi Arabia's two games after he hit the 84th-minute winner from the spot in last week's 1-0 victory over Thailand.

    The result badly dents Iraq's chances of winning one of the two automatic berths for Russia 2018 from the six-team Group B, after they lost last week's

    opener 2-0 to Australia.

    Meanwhile, China and Iran drew 0-0 in the World Cup qualifying match in Shenyang, China, last night. AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE