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Asian Cup Wrap: South Korea clinches top spot in group, and more

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Heung-Min Son started, recorded an assist and went 89 minutes three days after arriving in the United Arab Emirates as South Korea finished off the group stage with a resounding, 2-0 win over China.

With the win, South Korea’s third straight, the Taegeuk Warriors advance to the knockout stages as one of the top seeds, where they’ll face a third-place team in their next match. Ui-Jo Huang scored on a penalty kick in the 14th minute to give South Korea the lead, and six minutes into the second half, Min-Jae Kim powered home a header off a Son corner kick to put the game away.

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China won’t be too upset about the defeat. They finished in second place in Group C, and will open the knockout round against Thailand.

Elsewhere in Asian Cup action, Vitalij Lux scored a hat-trick as Kyrgyzstan beat the Philippines, possibly earning a spot in the knockout stages. It’s Kyrgyzstan‘s first appearance at the Asian Cup.

In Group D action, leaders Iraq and Iran, both enemies politically, perhaps finished with an appropriate scoreline. The two sides settled for a scoreless draw, seeing both advance to the next round. Vietnam, meanwhile, picked up its first win in a 2-0 victory over Yemen, potentially keeping its Asian Cup hopes alive for a few more days.

Asian Cup: Iran and Iraq advance; Saudis on verge

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ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) Iran and Iraq advanced to the knockout stages of the Asian Cup on Saturday with a game to spare.

Three-time champion Iran beat Vietnam 2-0 and secured its spot in the round of 16 when 2015 semifinalist Iraq beat Yemen 3-0 in another Group D game.

Another three-time champion, Saudi Arabia, moved closer to gaining its spot in the next round after beating Lebanon 2-0 in Group E.

With two wins each, Iran and Iraq meet in Dubai on Wednesday to decide the group winner.

Saudi Arabia meets Qatar on Thursday to close the group stage in a highly charged game amid the political tensions between the two nations.

The top two teams in each group and the four best third-placed teams advance to the round of 16.

It was a record ninth successive victory for Iran in Asian Cup group matches. Asia’s top-ranked team has dominated possession and looked comfortable in its opening two games, scoring seven goals without conceding.

Iran’s Sardar Azmoun took care of the goals against Vietnam, scoring in each half.

Saman Ghoddos crossed for the forward to put Iran ahead with a close-range header before halftime. Azmoun added his second in the 69th with a left-footed strike from the middle of the box for his third goal at the tournament.

Vietnam lost a second straight match after falling to Iraq 3-2.

Iran is led by former Real Madrid and Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz, who is chasing a major title with Iran after eight years in charge.

In Sharjah, Mohanad Ali Kadhim and Bashar Resan Bonyan scored with low shots from outside of the area early in the first half to give Iraq a comfortable advantage against Yemen. Substitute Alaa Abbas sealed it in second-half injury time.

Yemen and Vietnam are pointless and will fight for third place in Al Ain on Wednesday.

In Dubai, Fahad Al Muwallad opened the scoring 12 minutes into the game and Hussain Almoqahwi doubled the lead in the 67th.

With two wins from two, Saudi Arabia leads Group E with six points and could advance with a game in hand if North Korea fails to beat Qatar on Sunday.

Saudi Arabia won its opening two games at the Asian Cup for the first time since 1996, when it last won the title.

After two defeats, Lebanon faces a must win against North Korea to have a chance to make it to the next round.

Iraq hosts friendly tournament after 3-decade FIFA ban

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BAGHDAD (AP) Iraq is hosting a friendly soccer tournament this week, with Syria and Qatar.

It comes just days after FIFA lifted a three-decade-long ban on Iraq hosting international competitions.

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An Iraq-Qatar match is to start Wednesday evening in the southern city of Basra.

FIFA lifted the ban on Monday for Iraqi cities of Basra, Karbala and Irbil, considered to be the safest in Iraq – but not the capital, Baghdad, which still sees frequent militant attacks.

Iraq’s minister of youth and sports, Abdul-Hussein Abtan, congratulated the Iraqi people following FIFA’s move and said it would change how Iraq is viewed in the region and beyond.

While the ban was in place, Iraq was still able to host friendly games and tournaments.

STREAM: Final group stage games of men’s Olympics soccer

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The final group games of the men’s soccer tournament at Rio 2016 have arrived and there is still plenty on the line.

[ STREAM: Every game at Rio 2016 live

Most notably host nation Brazil, led by superstar Neymar, needs to beat Denmark to make the quarterfinals. Elsewhere just two of the eight spots for the next stage of the competition are locked up as goal differential could play a factor. Strap in, folks. This promises to be a fun afternoon and evening of Olympic soccer. You can find an explainer of who can qualify here.

Below is a full schedule for when each game is available to watch.

[ MORE: Who can qualify for QF? ]

All you have to do is hit the link above to stream every game live online.


Men’s Group D
Algeria-Portugal
Aug. 10 12:00 p.m. EDT

Men’s Group D
Argentina-Honduras
Aug. 10 12:00 p.m. EDT

Men’s Group C
Germany-Fiji
Aug. 10 3:00 p.m. EDT

Men’s Group C
South Korea-Mexico
Aug. 10 3:00 p.m. EDT

Men’s Group B
Colombia-Nigeria
Aug. 10 6:00 p.m. EDT

Men’s Group B
Japan-Sweden
Aug. 10 6:00 p.m. EDT

Men’s Group A
Denmark-Brazil
Aug. 10 9:00 p.m. EDT

Men’s Group A
South Africa-Iraq
Aug. 10 9:00 p.m. EDT

Suicide bomber kills at least 29 people in Iraq at soccer stadium

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At least 29 people have been reportedly killed in Iraq after a suicide bomber attacked a soccer stadium.

The attack occurred 25 miles south of Baghdad in a village near Iskandariyah and up to 60 others have been injured.

In the stadium a tournament was said to be taking place between youth soccer teams when the suicide bomber struck. 

According to Agence France Presse via Yahoo news, the attack took place at 12 p.m. ET and causalities are continuing to arrive at local hospitals.

“They were just handing the trophy to the winners, the suicide attacker blew himself up in the crowd,” Al-Asriya, a police captain from the village said.

UPDATE: ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack and have been carrying out suicide bombings in and around the Iraqi capital as government forces step up their battle against them in other areas in the north and west of the country.