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Al-Masbahi leveler sends Kuwait through to AFC Futsal Asian Cup quarterfinal

Kuwaiti team celebrate qualifying to Futsal Asian Cup quarterfinal
Kuwaiti team celebrate qualifying to Futsal Asian Cup quarterfinal
KUWAIT, Oct 1 (KUNA) -- Abdulrahman Al-Masbahi scored at the end of the first half to earn Kuwait a hard-fought 2-2 draw against Iraq on Saturday as the host nation progressed to the AFC Futsal Asian Cup quarterfinal from Group A, alongside group leaders Thailand.
The host nation went into the game with one point in hand over their regional neighbours - both possessing an equal chance to progress. But, Abdulrahman Al-Masbahi's leveler in the 21st minute was enough to send the home crowd into a frenzy.
Meanwhile, Thailand brushed Oman aside in a huge 6-1 defeat as they cruised to the quarterfinals first in the group.
In Group B, Tajikistan squeezed through to the next round ahead of Turkmenistan in a match that witnessed a heavy 8-5 scoreline. The highly-contested affair presented both with an opportunity to progress, with Uzbekistan having already made it through. However, it was the Tajiks who had the upper hand over the Central Asian showdown.
The quarterfinals see Kuwait facing Group B winners Uzbekistan and Group A leaders Thailand drawn against Tajikistan, with 2018 champions Iran from Group C, having already progressed after a two-match unbeaten run and a difficult to beat 14-goal margin - with all matches played on Tuesday.
Three Group C sides - Indonesia (3 points), Lebanon (1 point) and Chinese Taipei (1 point) - will contest one remaining vacant group spot in the quarterfinals on Wednesday with Vietnam (6 points), Saudi Arabia (3 points) and 2018 runners-up Japan (3 points) fighting out two in Group D.
Current 2018 champions Iran have amassed the most silverware in the competition with 12 titles, while only Japan, who were runners-up that same year, trail with three. (end) sad.sd