AFC U-19 Championship: Thailand stun Iraq with thrilling fightback

AFC U-19 Championship: Thailand stun Iraq with thrilling fightback

Thailand dramatically netted two goals in the final seven minutes to earn a 3-3 draw against Iraq in their opening Group B match at the 2018 AFC U-19 Championship.

It was the Thais who drew first blood at the Pakansari Stadium in the 26th minute when they made most of a set-piece situation; Kittipong Sansanit receiving a layoff from Sarawut Munjit and sweeping a low ball into the six-yard box for Kritsada Kaman to poke home.

However, Moamel Abdulridha levelled the scores 11 minutes later when he played a neat one-two with Ahmed Sartip before racing through to slot past Nopphon Lakhonphon.

The Iraqis then took the lead three minutes before the break, after a lovely through-pass by Hasan Abdulkareem saw Wakaa Ramadhan beat the offside trap before skipping past Nopphon to finish into the unguarded goal.

Six minutes after the hour mark, the contest looked effectively over when Hasan added a third for Iraq, charging through the middle and picking out Wakaa before carrying on his run to receive a neat return pass and lash a left-footed effort into the back of the net.

Thailand were handed a glimmer of hope with three minutes remaining when Korrawit Tasa got in behind the opposition defence, latching onto Hassawat Nopnate’s glorious 40-yard pass before coolly finishing.

Then, in the fourth minute of injury-time, the Thais miraculously forced the draw following a shocking error by Iraq goalkeeper Haval Bahaalddin, who flapped at a corner under no pressure to allow Suphanat Mueanta to react quickest and head home for the equaliser.

IRAQ: Haval Bahaalddin, Ali Raad, Abbas Badeea, Mohammed Al-Baqer, Hasan Raed, Moamel Abdulridha, Mahdi Hameed, Ali Mohsin, Ahmed Sartip (Ali Qasim 52’), Hasan Abdulkareem (Muntadher Abdulameer 88’), Wakaa Ramadhan.

THAILAND: Nopphon Lakhonphon, Sarawut Munjit, Kritsada Kaman, Kittitach Pranithi, Kittipong Sansanit, Sampan Kesi (Thirapak Prueangna 71’), Airfan Doloh, Ekanit Panya, Sittichok Paso (Hassawat Nopnate 77’), Yuthapichai Lertlum (Suphanat Mueanta 53’), Korrawit Tasa.