Kuwait and Iraq Neck-and-Neck in AFC U-23 Qualifiers

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Iraq defeats East Timor 6-0

KUWAIT CITY, Sept 9:  Kuwait’s Olympic football squad continued their successful journey in the AFC U-23 Championship qualifiers on Saturday, securing their second consecutive victory with a 3-0 win against Macau.

In the second Group F qualifier hosted in Kuwait, the team aimed to maximize their goal tally to close the gap with group leaders Iraq and boost their chances of reaching the finals set to be held in Qatar next year. However, the first half of the match, held at Jaber Stadium, ended without any goals.

The second half witnessed a remarkable performance by player Salman Al-Awadi, who scored a hat-trick in the 48th, 50th, and 95th minutes (from a penalty kick). This outstanding performance led to a 3-0 victory for Kuwait.

In another match at the Kuwait Club Stadium, the Iraqi national team defeated Timor-Leste with a commanding 6-0 score, securing the top spot in the group standings based on goal difference over the Kuwaiti national team.

The decision on which team will qualify for the finals has been postponed until the last matches of the round to determine the leader between Kuwait and Iraq, both with six points each. Macau and East Timor have exited the qualifiers.

In the initial qualifier matches last Wednesday, Kuwait secured a resounding 4-0 victory against East Timor, while the Iraq team dominated Macau with a remarkable 13-0 win, taking the top spot in the group standings based on goal difference ahead of Kuwait.

It’s important to note that the first-place team from the 11 qualifying groups secures a direct spot in the finals, along with the four best second-placed teams.

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