Aymen Hussein's late winner helps Iraq beat Vietnam and stay perfect at Asian Cup

Japan cruise past Indonesia to set up potential last-16 clash against South Korea

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Aymen Hussein came off the bench to score twice – including a winner 12 minutes into added time – as Iraq defeated Vietnam 3-2 to stay perfect at the Asian Cup on Wednesday.

The result means Iraq finish Group D with a flawless three wins from three and sets up a last-16 tie against one of the best third-placed sides at the Khalifa International Stadium next Monday.

Iraq, who had already beaten tournament favourites Japan and Indonesia, started the game with a place in the knockout rounds already sewn up, affording head coach Jesus Casas the luxury of fielding an entirely changed starting line-up, with the exception of defender Rebin Sulaka.

Vietnam took the lead just before half-time when Bui Hoang Viet Anh scored from a set-piece but Khuat Van Khang was then sent off for a second booking just before the interval.

Iraq took full advantage, equalising two minutes after the restart when Sulaka headed home from a corner, before Hussein scored with a header of his own to complete the turnaround in the 73rd minute.

Vietnam almost stole a point against the run of play when Nguyen Quang Hai equalised in the 91st minute, but Iraq upped the tempo again and earned a penalty which was calmly converted by Hussein in the 12th minute of added time.

Meanwhile, in the other Group D game, Japan cruised into the last 16 – and set up a possible showdown with South Korea – after a 3-1 win over Indonesia.

Ayase Ueda struck in each half to go with a late Indonesia own goal in Doha to send the Samurai Blue through as group runners-up behind Iraq.

Sandy Walsh scored a consolation goal for Indonesia in injury time at the end of the game.

Japan will now face the winners of Group E – South Korea's group. Jurgen Klinsmann's South Korea are currently second on goal difference behind Jordan and face Malaysia in their final group match on Thursday.

Following Japan's shock 2-1 defeat to Iraq, coach Hajime Moriyasu made eight changes to his starting line-up, bringing in an entirely new defence.

He kept faith in goalkeeper Zion Suzuki, who was at fault against Iraq and was racially abused online after the game.

But there was still no place for Brighton winger Kaoru Mitoma, who was left out for a third straight game as he struggles for full fitness.

Japan were awarded a penalty in the sixth minute after a VAR check ruled that Indonesia defender Jordi Amat had dragged down Ueda in the box.

The Feyenoord striker dusted himself down and dispatched the spot kick past goalkeeper Ernando Ari.

Japan cranked the tempo back up and Keito Nakamura lashed a volley against the post in the 35th minute. They kept it going in the second half and Ueda doubled their lead seven minutes after the restart.

Ritsu Doan cut through the Indonesia defence down the wing and Ueda was on hand to tap home his low cross.

Ueda went looking for his hat-trick and his shot pressured Indonesia defender Justin Hubner into firing the ball into his own goal in the 88th minute.

But Indonesia got an even later goal to give their fans something to cheer about, with Walsh volleying home from close range in the 91st minute.

Updated: January 24, 2024, 2:56 PM