Morale boosting win for Iraq, Palestine hold Iran

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Iraq's Ahmad Ibrahim in action in the game against China.

A 69th minute goal from Muhannad Ali helped Iraq secure a 2-1 win against China in an international friendly match ahead of both their AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 campaigns.

Ahmad Ibrahim opened the scoring in the 22nd minute for the West Asians, but China made sure they went into the break level as star striker Wu Lei equalised two minutes before the half-time whistle.

However, it was 2007 AFC Asian Cup winners Iraq who prevailed, courtesy of Ali's goal in the 69th minute.

Iraq play another friendly against Palestine on Friday.

The Lions of Mesopotamia will open their UAE 2019 Group D campaign against Vietnam at the Zayed Sports City Stadium on January 8.

Marcello Lippi's China, who are in Group C with Korea Republic, Kyrgyz Republic and the Philippines, will also have another tune-up match on Friday against Jordan.

In another friendly between two sides preparing for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, Jonathan Cantillana's goal in second half added time gave Palestine a 1-1 draw with Islamic Republic of Iran. 

Mehdi Taremi had given Iran the lead in the 50th minute in a match played behind closed doors at the Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium in Doha.

Three-time champions Iran are seeking to win their first AFC Asian Cup title since 1976 and will play in Group D against Iraq, Vietnam and Yemen while Palestine will have Australia, Syria and Jordan for company in Group B. 

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