Iran footballers make West Asian finals
Iran has defeated Iraq in the semifinal of the 2010 West Asian Football Federation (WAFF) Championship in Jordan to book its place in the final game of the event, Press TV reported.
The Iranian football team made it through to the WAFF final on Friday with a 2-1 victory over Iraq at the King Abdullah stadium in Amman.
Both sides gave a lackluster performance in the first half and neither managed to score.
However, after the break, the Iranian national team got the breakthrough when a right cross from Iman Mob'ali was headed home by Seyyed Jalal Hosseini in the 58th minute to put Iran into the lead.
The Iraqis then fought back and leveled the game through Mustafa Kareem's goal in the 71st minute.
After intercepting a pass from an Iraqi defender inside the box, Mohammad Gholami fired home from close range to give coach Afshin Qotbi's side a reason to cheer nine minutes before the final whistle.
A win in their first match against Bahrain and a 1-1 draw with the Omanis sent Iran to the top of the 3-team group and the semifinals.
The sixth edition of the WAFF championship kicked off on September 24 and will run until October 3.
Iran won the title in 2000, 2004, 2007 and 2008 while Iraq claimed the title in 2002.
Iran is gearing up for the 2011 Asian Cup, which will be held in Qatar in January, and winning the West Asian championship would boost the team's morale ahead of the continental tourney.
Iran's last championship in the Asian Cup came in 1976, when it hosted the event.
Iran is in Group D for the 2011 Asian Cup along with North Korea, the United Arab Emirates, and defending champions Iraq.