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AFC Cup MD5: Arbil 3-2 Shabab Al Ordon     9/04/2014 12:29:24 AM

Doha: Spanish striker Borja Rubiato rifled home a late free-kick to give Arbil a 3-2 victory over Jordan’s Shabab Al Ordon on Tuesday which secured the Iraqi side’s passage to the last 16 of the AFC Cup.
Shabab Al Ordon twice came from behind in the match at the Grand Hamad Stadium with goals by Rawad Abu Khizaran and Mohammed Omar Shishani cancelling out a brace by Luay Salah.
But with the match tied at 2-2 in the 89th minute, Rubiato lined a up a free-kick 25 metres from goal and fired in unerringly into the bottom corner of the net to give Arbil all three points.
“This was a great win and good performance from our side as the players followed the tactics and they were the better side in the match. The victory is important because it secured our place in the knockout stage,” said Arbil coach Ayob Odisho.
“We played very well especially in the attack but there were some defensive mistakes which affected us and therefore we conceded two goals. We still have a match to play and we must win in order to finish on top of the group.”
Arbil now lead the group with 12 points, two head of Bahraini side Riffa, who beat Alay of Kyrgyzstan 2-0 on Tuesday. Shabab have six points and are out of the running for a place in the knockout stage.
Arbil enjoyed an excellent start as they went ahead after just four minutes. A corner from the left by Hawar Mulla Mohammed was floated into the box and met by Salah who made no mistake with a first-time shot from close range.
Isam Al Mbaydin tested Arbil goalkeeper Jalal Hassan Hachim with a long range shot late in the first half that the custodian did well to tip over the crossbar.
But from the resulting corner, Rawad received the ball in the box after a scramble and spun to shoot past Hachim to make it 1-1 at half-time.
Arbil turned up the heat at the start of the second half and their pressure was rewarded in the 71st minute as Salah received the ball from Hawar on the edge of the box and went past one defender before letting fly from the edge of box with a shot that flew into the bottom corner with a slight nick off a defender
But Shabab would not lie down and they were back on level terms in the 80th minute as Shishani controlled the ball in the box before sweeping a low shot past Hachim.
However, in the final minute, the Iraqi side won a free-kick to the right of the Shabab box and Rubiato fired it into the corner of the net.
“I’m really disappointed with this defeat because we were trying to get a good result but we failed and we conceded three goals which was bad for us. The defeat means that we are out of contention and that is disappointing because we had high ambitions,” said Shabab Al Ordon coach Raed Assaf.
“The team didn’t put in a good performance. We lacked attacking efficiency while we also made some defensive mistakes.
“We missed some key players and this affected us and we lost a decisive match which was our last chance to remain in the competition.”