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Iraq Defeated By South Korea In Asian Cup Semifinal

Two-time champions South Korea defeated Iraq 2-0 in an Asian Cup semifinal in Sydney on January 26, ending Iraq's hopes of a second title after its victory in 2007.

A header in the first half and a long-range goal just after halftime put South Korea within one match of its first Asian Cup title since 1960.

Iraq was confirmed as a semifinalist on January 25 after the Asian Football Confederation dismissed a protest from Iran over their quarterfinal match as "unfounded."

Iraq beat Iran on penalties on January 23 but Iran asked for the result to be overturned.

Iran alleged that Iraqi midfielder Alaa Abdul-Zahra should have not been allowed to play because he had failed a doping test while playing for an Iranian club last year.

In the final on January 31, South Korea will play the winner of the second semifinal match, between host Australia and the United Arab Emirates.

Iraq will play the loser of that semifinal for third place.

Based on reporting by Reuters, dpa, and AFP