Men's: AFC Asian Cup 2011 Quarterfinal

Kewell does it for Australia in extra time

4:15pm (12:15am AEDT), Tuesday 18 January, 2011
at Al-Sadd/Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, Doha, Qatar

Australia 1
(Harry Kewell 118')
Iraq 0

Harry Kewell proved the hero as his header deep into extra-time saw Australia edge out defending champions Iraq 1-0 at Al Sadd Stadium and book a place in the semi-finals of the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011.

A game largely bereft of chances was settled in the 116th minute when Kewell got on the end of Matt McKay's deep cross from the left and steered a header past keeper Mohammed Kassid into the back of the net to set up a clash with Uzbekistan in the last four.

There was no doubting the effort and desire of both sides in the opening period but clear openings were hard to come by with defences firmly in top.

A poor header from Samal Saeed let in McKay after 28 minutes but the midfielder unfortunately lifted the half-chance way over the bar before reigning AFC Player of the Year Sasa Ognenovski glanced David Carney's free-kick from the left flank wide nine minutes later.

Australia then managed to carve out two opportunities as half-time approached.

McKay latched onto a through ball but fired straight at Mohammed Kassid from the edge of the box before Kewell outmuscled Ali Erhaima as they contested Luke Wilkshire's deep delivery but with the Iraq keeper bearing down on him, the forward's attempted lob was too high.

Iraq had their best chance of the game so far in the 54th minute when Younus Mahmood's fine pass released Emad Mohammed and with Australia appealing for offside, he drove into the right side of the box before placing a shot across Mark Schwarzer but the wrong side of the far post.

Mile Jedinak's drive from distance was comfortably held by Kassid on the hour mark before Lucas Neill rose highest to meet McKay's corner on the far side of the box but his header was diverted straight at the Iraq keeper by Ognenovski.

Kassid held Cahill's header as Australia continued to test Iraq in the air but with limited success

Brett Holman forced Kassid to push over his long-range effort with 10 minutes to go as the Socceroos looked the more likely to grab a late winner but Schwarzer had to get down low to hold substitute Mustafa Kareem's header.

Kassid then kept out another Ognenovski header from a corner as normal time ended scoreless.

Australia came agonisingly close to taking the lead seven minutes into extra-time when Ognenovski's acrobatic overhead kick following a corner seemed destined for the back of the net only for Jedinak to head the ball over the bar from close range.

Nashat Akram saw a stinging low drive from the edge of the box fly just wide of Schwarzer's right post two minutes into the second period of additional time before Kewell netted the winner four minutes from the end.

McKay's diagonal cross from the left picked out the forward's run in between two Iraq defenders and he beat Kassid with a clinical header to secure Australia's place in the last four.

4:15pm (12:15am AEDT), Tuesday 18 January, 2011
at Al-Sadd/Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, Doha, Qatar

Australia 1
(Harry Kewell 118')
Iraq 0

    Crowd: 7,889


    Australia :
    Player listing:
    1 Mark Schwarzer (gk), 2. Lucas Neill, 3. David Carney (22. Neil Kilkenny +109'), 6. Sasa Ognenovski, 8. Luke Wilkshire, 16. Carl Valeri, 15. Mile Jedinak, 14. Brett Holman (11. Nathan Burns +102'), 17. Matt McKay, 4. Tim Cahill (9. Scott McDonald +90'+2), 10. Harry Kewell

    Substitutes not used: 18. Brad Jones (rgk), 20. Matthew Spiranovic, 19. Tommy Oar, 21. Jon McKain,, 13. Jade North, 23. Robbie Kruse

    Coach: Holger Osieck (Germany)

    Yellow Cards: Lucas Neill 115', David Carney 90'+1, Mile Jedinak 68', Harry Kewell 118'
    Red Cards: Nil

    Iraq :
    Player listing:

    Substitutes not used: tba

    Coach: Wolfgang Sidka (Germany)

    Yellow Cards: tba'
    Red Cards: Nil

    Referee: Abdulrahman Abdu (Qatar) 7/10

    Best players: Australia: Mark Schwarzer, Harry Kewell, Matt McKay

    Pitch rating: 8/10

    Game rating: 8/10

    Match Report by AFC and BOTN, Stats by AFC and BOTN

Disclaimer: The content of this report is the responsibility of the writer. Stats are either as recorded by the writer at the game, or as supplied - no responsibility can be taken for their compete accuracy although we do strive for that.

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