Iran have booked a place in the quarter-finals of the 2016 AFC Under-23 Championship in Qatar following a narrow 3-2 win over China in its last Group-A showdown.
Arsalan Motahhari gave the Iranians the lead before Chang Feiya levelled seconds later. Ehsan Pahlavan restored his side’s lead in a frantic three-minute spell late in the first half before Mahdi Torabi’s free kick just after the break extended Iran’s advantage, although a penalty by Liao Lisheng caused some late jitters.
In other match of group A, Ahmed Alaa scored twice while captain Abdelkarim Hassan and Moez Ali both scored as hosts Qatar qualified for the quarter-finals of the AFC U23 Championship with a 100% record as Group A winners following Monday’s highly entertaining 4-2 comeback win over Syria.
Yousef Kalfa had given Syria the lead after just four minutes at Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium only for Hassan to quickly net his fourth goal in three games to level the scores, before Alaa netted his third of the group stage after 25 minutes.
Ali extended the advantage just three minutes later, and after Omar Kharbin’s late penalty for Syria had threatened a comeback, Alaa made sure of the win with eight minutes remaining
Qatar now will face runners up of group B while Iran will overtake Japan in the quarter finals.
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