LIVE – AFC U23 Championship 2020: Thailand vs Iraq

Hello and welcome to FOX Sports Asia’s LIVE blog of the AFC U23 Championship 2020 Group A encounter between Thailand under-23 and Iraq under-23. Both the sides have the opportunity of qualifying for the knockouts of the tournament and would want to go all guns blazing in their final group stage match.

The War Elephants started their AFC U23 Championship campaign, which is being played in their own backyard, with a resounding 5-0 victory over Bahrain. However, despite taking an early lead against Australia in their second group stage match, Thailand ended up on the losing side as the Socceroos went on to win the clash 2-1.

Iraq, on the other hand, started their campaign with a 1-1 draw with Australia and followed it up with another stalemate, this time against Bahrain. They were only seconds away from dropping all three points against Bahrain, however, an injury-time equaliser from Mohammad Qasem saw them save a point in an entertaining encounter which finished 2-2.

The late equaliser has kept Iraq alive in the tournament, who are third on the table behind Australia and Thailand respectively. The team which ends up on the winning side tonight will earn a spot in the knockout round of the competition.

Thailand vs Iraq in Group A of the 2020 AFC U23 Championship will kick off at 9.15 PM HKT. You can follow all the LIVE updates from this AFC U23 Championship match via our Matchday Blog right here!

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Hello and welcome to the LIVE coverage of the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020. We have hosts Thailand taking on Iraq in their third match of the competition and the kick off is at 9.15 PM HKT.

The Thailand XI is out ahead of the all-important encounter. Here’s their starting XI!

The Iraq XI is out as well. Here’s their team in FULL:

We’re now only 30 minutes from the start of the Group A encounter. Stay tuned!

The players are now coming onto the pitch. The kick-off to follow national anthems.

1′ KICK-OFF!

5′ Referee heads to the VAR screen following a possible penalty incident in the first minute of the match. Thailand had earned a corner and the kick possibly hit one of the Iraqi defenders on the hand. And he points for a PENALTY FOR THAILAND!

6′ GOAL! THAILAND 1-0 IRAQ. Jaroensak Wonggorn gets his third of the competition and the War Elephants lead at the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok.

9′ Free header for Iraq following a free-kick but two Iraqi players go at it together and the ball ultimately lands in the hands of Korraphat Nareechan safely.

15′ Another big chance for Iraq as Mohammed Nassif’s header following a cross from Murad Subeh goes just wide. Iraq have been dominant after Thailand’s opening goal.

23′ Should’ve been 2-0 there but Ali Kadhim Hadi makes himself big and makes a great save from close range.

27′ Another great save from Ali Kadhim Hadi after a well-placed shot from Suphanat Mueanta!

36′ Great piece of skill from Suphanat as he leaves the defender clueless but the end product is disappointing. The shot lacked power and the Iraqi goalkeeper makes an easy save!

41′ And yet another opportunity for Suphanat but straight at the goalkeeper, AGAIN! He justs boots it hard but not clinical enough.

HALF-TIME! THAILAND 1-0 IRAQ

46′ Second half is underway now!

49′ GOAL! IRAQ EQUALISE! Iraq have been on the front foot since the start of the half and they make the dominance count as Mohammed Nassif drills the ball into the goal following a cross. THA 1-1 IRQ

56′ Double substitution for Thailand as Supachai Chaided replaces Benjamin Davis and Supachok Sarachart comes on for  Wisarut Imura.

63′ Supachok Sarachart runs into the Iraq box with the ball, beating multiple defenders on his way. But his shot is not strong enough and the score remains 1-1!

66′  A long-range drive from Thitathorn Auksornsri is parried away for a corner by the Iraqi goalkeeper, who seems to be in pain after making the save. The ball apparently took a surprise bounce and hit him in the face.

74′ Free-kick for Iraq, who are pushing on for the winner but Mohammed Ridha’s kick is straight at Korraphat Nareechan.

82′ Both the teams are now trying hard for the winner. It’s Hussein Jabbar’s turn now to try a long-range strike but it’s straight to the goalkeeper AGAIN!

90′ WHAT A SAVE! Korraphat Nareechan makes a save from two yards outside the goal and manages to keep his side in the hunt for quarterfinals. It was Murad Subeh’s header which was stopped from going in by the Thai keeper. Into the four minutes of injury time now!

FULL-TIME! THAILAND 1-1 IRAQ. The War Elephants qualify to the quarterfinals of the AFC U23 Championship as they finish on the second spot in Group A, behond Australia. 

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