UAE and Palestine seal Asian Cup last-16 spots


The UAE and Palestine qualified for the knockout stages of the Asian Cup in constrasting style.

Palestine wrapped up their Group C campaign with a 3-0 win over Hong Kong after Oday Dabbagh grabbed a double, securing their spot in the last-16 as one of the four best third-placed teams.

It will be their first ever knockout stage appearance in the tournament.

Elsewhere in Group C, a Mehdi Taremi double earned group leaders Iran a 2-1 win over the UAE, who edged out Palestine on goal difference to finish as runners-up.

Iran won the group with nine points.

Earlier, Uzbekistan joined Australia in the last 16 after the two teams played out a 1-1 draw in their final group game while Syria beat India 1-0 in the other encounter in Group B to qualify as one of the best third-placed teams.

Australia had already qualified for the knockout stage and guaranteed a top-two finish, with the result moving the 2015 champions to seven points while Uzbekistan finished second with five points.

It marks the first time Syria have advanced to the knockouts since their Asian Cup debut in 1980.

India exit the competition without scoring a goal in three losses.

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