Originally created 09/08/01

Iran beats Iraq 2-1; China ties 1-1 at Qatar



BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Iran rallied to beat Iraq 2-1 Friday and take over the Group A lead in the final round of Asian qualifying for next year's World Cup.

Emad Mohammed put Iraq ahead in the 20th minute at Al-Shaab Stadium, but Ali Karimi scored in the 30th and Ali Daei in the 84th.

Iran (2-0-1) has seven points, two more than Bahrain (1-0-2), three more that Saudi Arabia (1-1-1) and four more than Iraq (1-3). The winner of the group, in which each nation plays eight games, advances to next year's tournament in Japan and South Korea. The No. 2 team goes to playoffs for another berth.

In Group B, first-place China gained a 1-1 tie at Qatar when Li Weifeng scored in the final minute. Dahi Saad Al Naemi had scored in the 42nd minute at Doha. Qatar's Mohammed Salem al-Enazi twice hit the crossbar in the first half.

China (2-0-1), led by former U.S. coach Bora Milutinovic, has seven points, two ahead of second-place Qatar (1-1-2).