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FOOTBALL SUPPLEMENT, 15-22/10/00 * Lebanon hold Iraq to a draw * Gulf war revisited [comment prior to the Iran-Iraq match] * Iran beats Iraq for first time since 1976 * [Programme for next week] http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2000/10/17/sports/17asio16&sec=sp orts * LEBANON HOLD IRAQ TO A DRAW BEIRUT, October 17, 2000 : Hosts Lebanon were hit by two early goals from Sabah Khalaf but rallied to snatch a 2-2 draw against Iraq in an Asian Cup first round match on Sunday. In the day's other match in Group A, striker Ali Daei spared Iran's blushes with a second half equaliser as they drew 1-1 with Thailand. The results leave Iran top of Group A on goal difference from Iraq. They have four points each while Thailand (one point) are third also on goal difference from Lebanon. Khalaf scored the first goal for Iraq after four minutes, diving behind the Lebanese defence to head home. He doubled his tally 18 minutes later, rising unchallanged to head in a cross from the right by Qahtan Drain. Abbas Chahrour pulled one back for Lebanon in the 28th minute with arguably the goal of the competition so far. The midfielder rifled a screaming shot into the top right-hand corner of the Iraqi goal from 25 yards, leaving keeper Hisham Hasan motionless. Attacking midfielder Moussa Hjeij equalised in the 77th minute from a free kick from 20 yards. It was a deserved equaliser for Lebanon, who made five changes from the team that lost 4-0 to Iran on the first day of the tournament. The Lebanese out-fought the Iraqis in the second half and they could have won it but Brazilian-born striker Newton de Oliveira headed over the bar in front of an empty net. Iran's Daei, who plays for Hertha Berlin, headed in Karim Bagheri's cross from the right in the 73rd minute to save one of the competition's favourites from a shock defeat. Thailand took Iran by surprise when Sakesan Pituratana turned home a shot after the Iranian keeper had pushed out a drive from Sutee Suksomkit in the 12th minute. But after a lacklustre performance in the first half, the Iranians picked up the pace in the second and piled on the pressure. Daei had a shot cleared off the line by a Thai defender in the 57th minute but there was no mistake 16 minutes later from the Iranian striker's header. The top two teams in the three groups automatically qualify for the quarter-finals with the best two teams in third place joining them. Saudi Arabia sacked Czech coach Milan Macala on Sunday, a day after the holders crashed to a 1-4 defeat to Japan in their opening game of the Asian Cup. Prince Sultan, head of the Saudi FA, appointed the Czech's assistant, Nasser al-Jawhar, as coach for the rest of the competition. Saturday's defeat have left the Saudis with a lot of work to to do to qualify for the quarter finals. Saudi Arabia play Qatar on Oct 17 and Uzbekistan three days later to complete their first-round Group C matches. Yesterday, China are scheduled to play Indonesia and South Korea face Kuwait in Group B.--Reuters http://www.dailystarnews.com/200010/18/n0101804.htm#BODY12 * GULF WAR REVISITED Daily Star (Bangla Desh, I think) BEIRUT, Oct 17: Iran coach Jalal Talebi has dismissed hype surrounding his side's scrap with Iraq, insisting the Iranians harboured no grudges ahead of Wednesday's crucial Asian Cup Group A showdown, reports AFP. Talebi, who coached Iran in the 'Mother of all football matches' against the United States at the 1998 World Cup, said Iran and Iraq's bitter political rivalry would not spill over on to the playing field. "It has been more than ten years since our countries were at war, and we have played three times since then," Talebi said, referring to the bloody 1980-88 conflict which left more than one million dead. "There has never been a problem when we have played in the past and I don't think there will be one now. "Neither myself nor my players have any hard feelings towards Iraq and their coach, and I'm sure they dont have any hard feelings towards us. "Football is sport, and I'm only concerned about what happens inside the field of play. Politics is outside the field of play," Talebi added. However, even with politics out of the equation, Wednesday's encounter at the Saida Stadium promises to be a robust battle between two physical teams. Both Iran and Iraq are level on four points at the top of their group, and should go through to the quarter-finals as the top two finishers. But both sides will be keen to win the group outright to avoid the likelihood of having to face the winners of Group C - in all probability an in-form Japan - in the quarterfinals. With a goal difference of plus four thanks to their 4-0 drubbing of Lebanon last week, Iran need only a draw to be sure of topping the pool. Iran will also want to avenge their 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Iraqis in the last Asian Cup. Talebi has spent the week firing up Iran after their dismal showing in a 1-1 draw against Thailand, when their assembled collection of European-based stars looked several notches below their best. Iraq have also spent the week kicking themselves after they let a 2-0 lead slip against Lebanon on Sunday to allow the hosts to snatch a draw, betraying their lack of match practice and exposure caused by international sanctions. The Iraqis have frequently cited the impact of UN sanctions on their football preparations in the build-up to the tournament. "The players in Iraq don't have any international exposure," said squad member Laith Hussein. "We can't play anywhere. How can we learn? How are we going to play against the other 11 teams here? We can't see them." In Wednesday's other match Thailand will take on Lebanon with both teams needing to win to have any chance of qualifying for the quarter-finals as one of the two best third-placed teams. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/soccer/news/2000/10/18/iran_iraq_ap/ * IRAN BEATS IRAQ FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1976 SIDON, Lebanon (AP, 18th October) -- Iran advanced to the quarterfinals of the Asian Cup with a prestige 1-0 victory Wednesday over arch-rival Iraq on striker Ali Daei's third goal of the tournament. Iraq also reached the last eight despite the defeat. The Hertha Berlin forward netted off a rebound in the 77th minute to give Iran seven points from three matches and first place in Group A. Iraq finished second with four points. It was Iran's first victory over Iraq since the 1976 Asian Cup. The two top sides from each of the four-team groups advance in the 12-nation tournament, along with two best third-place finishers. In the other Group A match, Lebanon and Thailand drew 1-1. Both teams finished with two points but Thailand took third place on goal difference. But the two points are unlikely to be enough for Thailand to advance. Although a draw would have put both teams into the quarterfinals, Iran began the match with a clear intention to win, pressing the Iraqis into their half of the field from the opening whistle. Still the Iranians were not able to produce a clear scoring opportunity until the 17th minute, when Daei rose at the far post to send a header that bounced off the ground over the crossbar. Three minutes later, Karim Bagheri broke through down the middle and fired a left-footed shot from the edge of the area that went just over the bar. Iraq replied in the 32nd, when Qahtar Chatir sent a good cross from the left to the far post, where his partner on the forward line, Sabah Jadir, connected with a diving header. Iranian goalkeeper Parviz Boroumand got his hands on the ball, could not hold onto it, but it bounced off the post back into his arms. The pace eased off significantly after the interval, with Iran apparently happy to settle for a draw. But a long-range shot by midfielder Hamed Kavianpour nearly took the Iraqi goalkeeper Amer Abdul-Wahab by surprise in the 68th minute. Abdul-Wahab had to stretch to full length to turn the ball around the post. The Iranian complacency was only a smoke screen, however. In the 77th, Bagheri, who plays for Charlton Athletic in England's Premier League, broke through the Iraqi defense with a solo run, bypassing three defenders. His right-foot shot was deflected by Abdul-Wahab and Daei pounced on the rebound to score the winner. Iran won the Asian Cup three times in a row between 1968 and 1976 and could become the first nation to win the title four times. Lineups: Iran: Parviz Boroumand; Sohrab Bakhtiarizadeh, Mohammadreza Mahdavi, Mehrdad Minavand, Karim Bagheri, Hamed Kavianpour, Satar Hamedani, Alireza Emamifar (Mohammad Navazi, 45), Daryoush Yazdani (Ali Karimi, 69), Khodadad Azizi (Mehdi Mahdavikia, 81), Ali Daei. Iraq: Amer Abdul-Wahab; Abdul-Jabar Hashim, Hamza Hadi (Essam Hamed, 54), Haydar Obeid, Haidar Mahmood, Adnan Mohammed (Abbas Rahim, 79), Abbas Obeid Jassim, Ahmad Kadhum, Abdul-Wahab Abouheil, Qahtan Chatir, Sabah Jadir (Ahmad Hussein, 55). http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2000/10/22/sports/22saud&sec=spor ts * [PROGRAMME FOR NEXT WEEK] [Details of matches, then ... ] The quarter-finals next week pit China against Qatar, Iran against South Korea, Japan against Iraq and Saudi Arabia against Kuwait. Asian Cup quarter-finals draw Oct 23: Iran vs South Korea; China vs Qatar. Oct 24: Japan vs Iraq; Kuwait vs Saudi Arabia. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://www.casi.org.uk