Later in the night, Qatar dented UAE’s hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals as they routed Yemen 6-0 in another Group ‘A’ encounter.
Striker Alaa Abbas scored the opening goal in the sixth minute, before fellow forward Alaa Abdul Zahra doubled Iraq’s advantage in the 37th minute.
Iraq, who made nine changes to the team that started against Qatar in their 2-1 victory on Tuesday, were in control for most part of the first-half as the UAE players failed to offer any resistance.
Iraq escaped with a reprieve when goalkeeper Mohammed Farhan fouled UAE’s Ali Saleh Amro during his attempt to foil a chance to score. However, the referee opted to punish Farhan with just a yellow card.
UAE fought bravely in the second-half as they looked for an opportunity to reduce the margin and thereafter net the equaliser. However, Iraq regained their rhythm and thwarted their opponents’ inroads.
The video assistant referee (VAR) was used for the first time in the tournament when the referee awarded a penalty in favour of Iraq in the 83rd minute. Ali Adnan’s kick, however, was successfully defended by UAE goalkeeper Mohammed Al Shamsi.
The UAE’s loss follows their opening 3-0 win over Yemen. Qatar’s victory over Yemen last night has further dampened UAE’s hopes of reaching the semi-finals.
UAE will have to defeat Qatar when they clash on Monday to ensure passage into the last-four stage.
For Qatar, Abdelkarim Hassan scored the first two goals in the 29th and 36th minutes and Almoez Ali netted the third in the 57th.
Abdelkarim was on target again in the 72th minute and Abdullah Al Ahrak scored the fifth goal in 85th while Akram Afif completed the rout in the 90th minute.
Iraq top Group ‘A’ with six points and Qatar are second on three.