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31.July.2004 at 21:00
Asian Cup
Shandong Sports Centre ,Jinan
Attendance : 50000
Referee: AL FADHLI Saad Kameel - Kuwait
Opponent Confederation: AFC
Korea Rep.
3 - 4
Referee: AL FADHLI Saad Kameel - Kuwait Asian Cup / Quarter Finals-match

SEOL Ki-hyeon (16')
LEE Dong-gook ((25')
KIM Nam-il (68')
Mohammad Ali KARIMI (10)
Mohammad Ali KARIMI (20)
PARK Jin-sub (o.g.) (51)
Mohammad Ali KARIMI (77)
Opening Line-up
LEE Woon-jae (GK)
CHOI Jin-cheul
LEE Min-sung
PARK Jin-sub
KIM Nam-il
EE Young-pyo
SEOL Ki-hyeon
CHA Doo-ri
LEE Dong-gook
PARK Ji-sung
KIM Jin-kyu
Sattar ZARE
Hossein KAEBI
Mohammad ALAVI
Mohammad Ali KARIMI
AHN Jung-Hwan
CHUNG Kuyng-Ho
PARK Yo-seb
PARK, Jae Hong
KIM, Tae Young
HYUN, Young Min
KIM, Jung Kyum
KIM, Eun Jung
Gholamreza ENAYATI
AHN Jung-Hwan -> PARK Jin-sub 64'
CHUNG Kuyng-Ho -> 75'
PARK Yo-seb -> 86'
Iman MOBALI -> Ebrahim TAGHIPOUR (17)
Mehdi AMIRABADI -> Hossein KAEBI (90)
Yellow cards
LEE Dong-gook (90+1) Javad NEKOUNAM (15)
Mohammad Ali KARIMI (55)
Red cards
None None.
Match report
Coach: Branko Ivankovic (Croatia)

JINAN - Ali Karimi netted a superb hat-trick as three-time champions Iran advanced to the semi-finals of the Asian Cup 2004 with a 4-3 victory over Korea Republic in a richly-entertaining quarter-final encounter in Jinan on Saturday evening.

With both teams committed to attacking football, the Iranians took the lead four times with the Koreans hitting back on three occasions before Karimi's final goal with 13 minutes remaining settled the high-scoring affair.

With supporters of both sides creating plenty of noise in the stands, the combatants engaged each other in an attractive, free-flowing affair on the pitch that fully lived up to the pre-match hype.

Iran, who lost to Korea in the quarter-finals at the last Asian Cup, started the stronger side, with Korean goalkeeper Lee Woon-jae stopping a pair of Mehdi Mahdavikia shots in the opening six minutes, and also rushing off his line to prevent Karimi latching on to a through ball.
The pressure told in the 10th minute though as Karimi put the Persians ahead. Hossein Kaebi chased down Mehdi Mahdavakia's searching long pass down the right channel and hooked the ball back from the byline for the Al Ahli midfielder to glance a header into the Korean net.

A clash of heads between Seol Ki-Hyeon and Ebrahim Taghipour in the 13th minute would have serious consequences on the Iranian defender who had to be stretchered off and taken to hospital in an ambulance.

With Iran temporarily down to 10 men, the Koreans struck back with a well-crafted goal. Park Ji-sung received the ball from Lee Dong-gook on the edge of the Iran box and quickly whipped a pass over the Iran defence for Seol Ki-hyeon to lash the ball past goalkeeper Ebrahim Mirzapour.

Park Ji-sung then went close to putting Korea in front shortly afterwards as he made a surging run into the Iran box but was foiled by a fine save by Mirzapour.

The Iranians were back in front on 20 minutes as Karimi headed in his second of the match. Once again it was Mahdavikia who played a key role in the goal as his deep cross from near the right touchline found a leaping Karimi, who headed across goal past a diving Lee Woon-jae.

Iran's lead would again be short-lived as Korea hit back just five minutes later. Defender Yahya Golmohammadi failed to deal with a cross by Lee Young-pyo, allowing a lurking Lee Dong-gook to hammer home his fourth goal of the tournament.

Mirzapour would again foil Park Ji-sung as he tipped the Korean's deflected shot over the crossbar on the half-hour mark to keep the score tied at 2-2 at the end of the opening half.

The teams showed no signs of curbing their attacking ambitions after the break and Iran restored their lead six minutes into the second half as Karimi's pass sent Mahdavikia on a run down the right wing. The Hamburg playmaker whipped in a low cross that Park Jin-sub inadvertently turned into his own net.

Park was replaced soon afterwards by striker Ahn Jung-hwan as Korea coach Jo Bonfrere pressed his side to find a third equaliser. That goal duly arrived on 68 minutes as Lee Dong-gook knocked down a pass on the edge of the box for Kim Nam-il who sent in a low drive that Mirzapour got his hands to but could not keep out.

With 13 minutes remaining, the Iranians struck the final, telling blow with Mahdavakia set up a goal for the fourth time, whipping in a low free-kick from the left touchline that Karimi touched past Lee Woon-jae at the near post.

The closing minutes saw the Koreans exerting plenty of pressure on the Iran goal with their final chance coming two minutes into injury time as Mirzapour rushed off his line and just beat out Lee Dong-gook to an attempted through pass.

At the final whistle, both teams received a tremendous ovation from the crowd at the Shandong Sports Centre who had witnessed what was arguably the most exciting and entertaining match so far at Asian Cup 2004.
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