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Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Young Socceroos lose semi-final to Iraq

Australia have lost 2-0 to Iraq in the semi-finals of the AFC U-19 Championship at the Emirates Stadium in Ras al-Khaimah, in the United Arab Emirates.

The Young Socceroos had an opportunity to break the deadlock six minutes into the second half when they were awarded a penalty, but Corey Gameiro's spot-kick was saved by Mohammed Hameed.

Iraq then opened the scoring on the hour-mark when Mohanad Abdulraheem-Karrar turned in a cross from Ali Adnan Kadhim.

The result was sealed in the 85th minute when Abdulraheem-Karrar found Jawad Kadhim-Hantoosh, who rounded goalkeeper Paul Izzo and slotted home.

Despite the result, Young Socceroos' head coach Paul Okon was proud of what his team had achieved during the tournament.

"It was a tough match this evening and we knew Iraq are a very good team," Okon said.

"There are no excuses, we just made a few too many mistakes and, when you make mistakes like we did this evening, you are made to pay.

"If we had converted the penalty, the game could have been different but to the credit of the players, they kept fighting to the end."

In the other semi-final, South Korea Republic beat Uzbekistan 3-1 and the final will take place on Saturday.

Despite the loss, the Young Socceroos had already qualified for next year's under-20 World Cup in Turkey after beating Jordan 3-0 in the quarter-finals.

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