Salih Salih scored two goals and Sa'ad Hafidh and Younes Khalef added two more as Iraq claimed a 4-1 win over Taiwan in an Asian World Cup qualifyer yesterday. \nSalih scored his first goal about four minutes into the match and grabbed his second around the 43rd minute. \nIraq scored again in the 75th minute when Hafidh tapped the ball in during a chaotic scramble in front of the goal. \nTaiwan finally struck back in the 82nd minute when the ball hit forward Huang Wei-yi in the face in front of the goal and rolled in. \nIraq scored its last goal 86 minutes into the match, when Khalef headed the ball in from close range to seal the win. \nIraq coach Adnan Hamad said his team performed well considering their grueling schedule in the past few months. \nThe Iraqi team competed in the Asia Cup in China in July and August, losing in the quarterfinals, before playing at the Olympics, where it finished fourth after losing to Italy 1-0 in the bronze medal match. \n"It's a difficult situation for the players and the team," Hamad said. \nThe coach said the team played six matches in 15 days at Athens and was only able to rest in Baghdad for two days before coming to Taiwan. \n"But we tried to do things for our country and our people," Hamad said.
For Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin, there were no chances left: Either beat the world’s top-ranked men’s doubles badminton team from Indonesia for the first time or see their Olympic hopes dashed in the preliminary round. The world No. 3 Taiwanese duo answered the challenge, edging past Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo in their final Group A match 21-18, 15-21, 21-17 to qualify for the final eight knockout round. “We finally made it,” Lee wrote on Facebook after beating the Indonesian duo. However, he said that the competition still had a long way to go. “We’re happy not only because
INTO THE SEMIS: Top seed Tai Tzu-ying hit two stunning backhands in quick succession while on the floor in her quarter-final, prompting disbelieving gasps and cheers Taiwanese badminton stars Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin yesterday advanced to the gold medal match of the men’s doubles, while Taiwanese top seed Tai Tzu-ying got off to a rough start in a nail-biting women’s singles quarter-final against Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon, but rallied with a series of flash backhand smashes. Lee and Wang beat Indonesia’s Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan 21-11, 21-10 in their men’s doubles semi-final to set up a shot at the gold medal against China’s Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen, who had a 24-22, 21-13 win over Malaysia’s Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik. Tai rallied from a game
Taiwanese badminton player Tai Tzu-ying yesterday tried to coast through her second group match at the Olympic Games, but got a bit of a scare against a Vietnamese ranked 49th in the world before righting the ship and prevailing. World No. 1 Tai defeated Nguyen Thuy Linh 21-16, 21-11 in her second match in Group P, moving her one win away from a spot in the women’s singles quarter-finals. Playing somewhat nonchalantly at the start of the match, Tai could not shake off the consistent Vietnamese, making several unforced errors. Down 16-14 and in danger of letting the first game get away, Tai
‘BOSS CHARACTER’: Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin said they had ‘crawled out of hell’ and have nothing to lose in a match against the world’s No. 2 pairing Badminton duo Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin made history in Tokyo yesterday by becoming the first Taiwanese shuttlers to advance to an Olympics semi-final after they edged their Japanese rivals in the quarter-finals of the men’s doubles. The world No. 3 Taiwanese duo defeated Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe 21-16, 21-19 in 44 minutes at the Musashino Forest Plaza. By reaching the final four, the pair have recorded Taiwan’s best ever showing in Olympic badminton, surpassing a quarter-finals finish by Lee Sheng-mu and Fang Chieh-min in the men’s doubles at the London Games in 2012. After clinching the hard-earned victory, Lee dropped to