A stunning late equaliser from Aliff Haiqal saw Malaysia rescue a 1-1 draw with Iraq in a Group C clash at the AFC U-16 Championship India 2016 on Monday, while Vietnam were also victorious over Australia.
Iraq 1-1 Malaysia
Iraq were the dominant team in the first half and after a lengthy period of sustained pressure they took a deserved 1-0 lead just before the half-time break.
Mohammed Ridha, Mohammed Dawood and Muhammad Nizarruddin all came close during the opening 45 minutes, but it was Ridha who finally got the breakthrough.
Muntadher Mohammed sent in a deep cross which was chested into Ridha’s path by Ahmed Sartip, allowing the young forward to fire the ball low past Firdaus Imran from just inside the area.
Iraq had a golden opportunity to make it 2-0 just before the hour mark when Imran took out Ridha following a corner, prompting the referee to point to the spot.
But Mohammed’s shot was well saved by Imran, as the goalkeeper made up for giving away the penalty in the first place.
Malaysia’s tenacity and fighting spirit were duly rewarded five minutes from time as Aliff Haiqal blasted a shot into the back of the net from 20 yards out to secure a hard-fought draw.
Vietnam 3-2 Australia
Vietnam staged a remarkable comeback to defeat Australia 3-2 in Group B.
Australia captain John Roberts gave his side the lead on 18 minutes and then added his second 10 minutes later to put the Joeys 2-0 up at the break.
But Vietnam came roaring back in the second half. Nguyen Huu Thang started the fightback in the 51st minute after volleying home a deep cross from Nguyen Huynh Sang.
Thang also scored the equaliser nine minutes later, slotting home the rebound after Tran Van Dat’s initial shot was blocked in the Australian goal.
Both teams went in search of the winner, but it was Vietnam who came up with the goods four minutes from timee as Nguyen Duy Khiem collected a pass across the box from Nguyen Khac Khiem before providing the smart finish amid wild celebrations from the Vietnam team.
Kyrgyztan 0-8 Japan
Japan made it two wins from two as they thrashed Kyrgyztan 8-0 to ensure they will finish top of Group B.
It took more than 30 minutes for the first goal to arrive, but the floodgates soon opened once it did. Akito Tanahashi took advantage of a defensive error from Malik Aitbaev, charging down a delayed clearance and smashing the ball past the exposed Elgard Sychev.
Further goals from Takefusa Kubo and Keito Nakamura followed as the first half drew to a close, giving Japan a 3-0 lead at half-time.
Kubo added a fourth shortly after the break, and Tanahashi made it five a minute later.
Amantur Shamurzaev then brought down Toichi Suzuki, allowing the forward to score his side’s sixth from the penalty spot.
Another penalty on 80 minutes allowed Tanahashi to score his hat-trick and Kubo completed his brace deep in injury time.
Oman 0-0 South Korea
Oman and South Korea played out to the first goalless draw of the tournament in their Group C clash.
Oman enjoyed the better of the first half, with Yousuf Al Malki unlucky to miss out after hitting the woodwork early in the game.
South Korea were improved in the second half, although both goalkeepers were rarely tested as the result left Group C wide open.