x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Iran fight back to defeat neighbours Iraq

Iran came from behind to beat reigning champions Iraq 2-1 in their opening Asian Cup Group D match on Tuesday with Iman Mobali scoring the winner with a free-kick after 84 minutes.

Iraq's Ahmed Ibrahim, right, shrugs off Iran's Javad Nekounam during their Group D match last night. Karim Jafaar / AFP
Iraq's Ahmed Ibrahim, right, shrugs off Iran's Javad Nekounam during their Group D match last night. Karim Jafaar / AFP

DOHA // Iran came from behind to beat reigning champions Iraq 2-1 in their opening Asian Cup Group D match on Tuesday with Iman Mobali scoring the winner with a free-kick after 84 minutes.

Iraq had grabbed the early initiative when captain Younus Mahmood, who scored the winner when they won the title in 2007, opened the scoring after 13 minutes, forcing teammate Emad Mohammed's header over the line.

Iran equalised three minutes before half time with a well-taken strike from Gholam Rezaei, who beat the Iraqi offside trap, and they took all three points thanks to Mobali's angled free-kick.

The match was free of trouble on and off the pitch and was played in a sporting spirit as both coaches had predicted beforehand.