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Iraq coach Shenaishil confident of run to final

Radhi Shenaishil has backed Iraq to repeat the glory of 2007 after qualifying for the knockout stages of the Asian Cup on Tuesday.

Iraq - winners of the tournament eight years ago - beat Palestine 2-0 in their final Group D fixture and face neighbours Iran in the last eight on Friday.

Shenaishil is bullish about his side's chance of going all the way once again.

"I wish that the 2007 scenario occurs for the Iraq national team again and, if we get a positive result against Iran and make it to the semi-final, I'm sure you will find Iraq in the final," he said.

"Of course it is going to be a difficult match as there is a lot of history between us and Iran are a strong team.

"As a player, I've played a lot of matches against Iran, especially at the stage where the losing teams will leave the competition, so I'm sure we're going to see a good game in Canberra on Friday."

Captain Younis Mahmoud opened the scoring for Iraq after 48 minutes and later saw a penalty saved.

Ahmed Yasin made sure of the win with two minutes to go, but Shenaishil says his team will practice spot-kicks daily for the rest of the tournament, to avoid any further missed opportunities.

"We will be training on penalties every day from now on," he added. "I selected Younis because he only needs a couple of goals to become top goalscorer for Iraq.

"But with the important matches coming now it's a serious decision on who will be taking penalties."