Olympic Football Tournaments Rio 2016 - Men

Olympic Football Tournaments Rio 2016 - Men

4 August - 20 August

Olympic Football Tournaments 2016 - Men

Iraq clinch Asia's final Rio spot

Iraq players celebrate after scoring against Yemen in group C match of the 2016 AFC U23
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Iraq have reached their first Men's Olympic Football Tournament since 2004 with a 2-1 extra time victory over Qatar in the AFC U-23 Championship third place play-off. Ahmed Alaa's first-half goal was cancelled out by Mohanad Abdulraheem's late leveller before Aymen Hussein headed home in the 109th minute.

The hosts were looking to bounce back from their last gasp defeat to Korea Republic in Tuesday's semi-final, with opponents Iraq also reeling from a dramatic conclusion to their final four clash, which saw Japan progress to Saturday's finale.

Felix Sanchez's side broke the deadlock in the first half with a swift breakaway, finding Akram Afif in the clear. The Qatari No10 drew out Iraqi goalkeeper Fahad Talib before unselfishly squaring for Alaa to convert with a simple tap-in.

Iraq continued the knockout stage's recent theme of late goals by equalising with just four minutes of normal time remaining. Abdulraheem rose highest to nod home a looped ball into the Qatari penalty area.

The late drama continued as, into the second half of extra time, Aymen Hussein headed another floated Iraqi cross past Muhannad Naim. Qatar hit the crossbar late on, before seeing an effort cleared off the line, but it was not to be their evening.

The final whistle sparked jubilant scenes as the Lions of Mesopotamia joined Japan and Korea Republic, who will contest the tournament's final tomorrow, in booking their ticket to Rio de Janeiro.

The conclusion of Asia's qualifying tournament leaves just one spot left in the Men's Olympic Football Tournament Rio 2016, with Colombia and USA to play-off for the 16th and final place over two legs on 25 and 29 March.

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