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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 July 2007, 15:31 GMT 16:31 UK
Iraq & Saudis secure final berths
ASIAN CUP SEMI-FINALS
South Korea 0-0 Iraq (Iraq win 4-3 on pens AET)
Japan 2-3 Saudi Arabia

Iraq's players celebrate their semi-final victory
Iraq's players celebrate their famous victory in Kuala Lumpur
Iraq caused a major upset in the semi-finals of the Asian Cup by knocking out South Korea on penalties.

The Koreans were held to a goalless draw for the second successive game and missed out on a place in the final as Iraq won the shootout 4-3.

Noor Sabri Abbas was Iraq's hero when he saved from Yeom Ki-hun, before Kim Jung-woo hit the post to send the Iraqi players into ecstasy.

Iraq will meet Saudi Arabia in Sunday's final in Jakarta.

Both teams had missed chances to win it before spot-kicks, Iraq's Hawar Mulla seeing a shot tipped on to the post with Kim Jin-kyu clearing it off the line.

Lee Chun-soo volleyed into the side netting for the Koreans, while Yeom missed with a free-kick and the rebound as the clock ticked down.

Iraq are into the final of the Asian Cup for the first time.


Saudi Arabia ended Japan's bid for a third straight Asian Cup title.

Malek Maaz did the damage for the Saudis, scoring twice in a 3-2 win to send them into the final.

The Saudis had never previously beaten Japan at the Asian Cup, including defeats in the 1992 and 2000 finals, but they were the sharper team throughout in Hanoi.

606: DEBATE

Saudi captain Yasser Al Qahtani volleyed his side in front in the 35th minute but Japan took just two minutes to pull level through defender Yuji Nakazawa's towering header.

Maaz restored Saudi Arabia's lead with a bullet header two minutes into the second half, only for Yuki Abe to equalise again for Japan with an acrobatic volley in the 53rd minute.

But Maaz sent his nation into their sixth final in the last seven tournaments with a superb solo goal, wriggling past three Japan defenders before smashing the ball into the top corner.

Saudi Arabia, who lifted the Asian Cup in 1984, 1988 and 1996, face Iraq on Sunday in Jakarta after the Iraqis knocked out South Korea on penalties to reach their first final.



SEE ALSO
Iraq bombs strike football fans
25 Jul 07 |  Middle East
South Korea and Saudis into semis
22 Jul 07 |  Internationals
Japan and Iraq reach semi-finals
21 Jul 07 |  Internationals
Viduka faces Australia decision
22 Jul 07 |  Internationals


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