[ASIAN CUP]Defending champion Iraq beat North Korea, 1-0, to finish second in Group D behind neighbor Iran and complete the quarterfinal field at the Asian Cup in Qatar.
Iraq needed only a tie to advance to the quarterfinals against Australia but won thanks Kerrar Jasim’s goal in the 22nd minute.
“Our happiness is limited now, we still have a long way to go,” Jasim said. “Our match against Australia will be tough.They are one of the favorites to raise the cup. But every game we are improving and proving that we deserve to be Asia champions.”
North Korea was the only one of four 2010 World Cup finalists not to reach the knockout stage.
Coached by long-time California resident Afshin Ghotbi, Iran remained perfect with a 3-0 win over the United Arab Emirates for its third win in three games in Group D.
Uzbekistan vs. Jordan
Qatar vs. Japan
Australia vs. Iraq
Iran vs. South Korea