Host nation the United Arab Emirates overcame the gritty Kyrgyzstan Republic 3-2 in extra time to reach the quarter-final of the AFC Asian Cup on Monday. Ahmed Khalil’s controversial penalty winner in the 103th minute sealed the victory for Alberto Zaccheroni’s side after Kyrgyz had twice come from behind at the Zayed Sports City Stadium.
Khamis Esmaeel’s headed off Kahlifa Ghanim’s pass to open the scoring in the 14th minute. However, the score was equalized by Mirlan Murzaev in the 26th minute.
The second half started slow but it came into life in the 64th minute. Kyrgyz defender Mustafa Yusupov made an error and landed on Ali Hassan Salmin, who passed it to Amer Abdulrahman. Ali Ahmed Mabkhout controlled a flip Abdulrahman and struck into the net.
Once again the Central Asian side caught up to level the score in the 90+1 minute with substitute Tursunali Rustamov’s low header from a corner kick.
The game was extended to extra time with either side failed to score a winner within the given time slot. The last opportunity came up when the hosts were awarded a soft penalty after Bekzhan Sagynbaev brought down Ali Ahmed Mabkhout inside the box.
Substitute Ahmed Khalil, who came off the bench in the 98th minute took the spot kick and converted into the game winner in the 103th minute.