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Kasim scores, Iraq beats Jordan 1-0 in Group D of Asian Cup

January 12, 2015

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Yaser Kasim’s deflected shot from close range after a weaving run gave 2007 champion Iraq a 1-0 win over Jordan on Monday in a physical Group D match at the Asian Cup.

Kasim wrong-footed three defenders as he surged into the area and his shot deflected off Tariq Khattab and past Jordan captain Amer Shafi as he dived to left in the 77th minute.

Jordan finished with 10 men after Anas Bani Yaseen’s rough challenge on Saad Abdulameer in the 84th resulted in a second yellow card.

Iraq had a chance to go further ahead two minutes later but Abdul Zahra’s powerful strike from Dhurgham Ismail’s cross was tipped away by Shafi.

The win earned a crucial three points for Iraq, and increased its chances of advancing to the knockout stage from a group that contains defending champion Japan, which opened with a 4-0 win over tournament newcomer Palestine earlier Monday in Newcastle.

The Iraqis will remain in Brisbane for their next match against four-time champion Japan on Friday, while Jordan will travel to Melbourne to take on Palestine.

Jordan had three shots on target, including two tame long-range strikes in the first half that were both easily handled by Jalal Hassan, but squandered a series of opportunities around the hour mark with a glut of possession in the attacking third.

Kasim earned the player of the match award.

Iraq captain Younis Mahmoud, the player of the tournament when Iraq won in 2007, lacked match fitness and was a touch off the pace up front. The 31-year-old striker, without a club contract but considering a move to Australia, was replaced after 73 minutes.

His impact on the game was minimal against a defense that only conceded three goals in six qualifying games, with his shot from 10 yards in the 16th minute deflected out in the challenge from Khattab. He was called for a foul as he leaped for a header on the edge of the box in the 71st.

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