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Chaotic scenes at Asian Cup news conference as police block angry protesters from reaching Iraqi manager

Chaotic scenes at Asian Cup news conference as police block angry protesters from reaching Iraqi manager

Tensions were high after Iraq were eliminated from the Asian Cup by underdogs Jordan.

Things turned sour during the press conference of Iraq manager Jesus Casas following their elimination from the Asian Cup in the round of 16.

Things started to go wrong for Iraq when their top scorer of the tournament, Aymen Hussein, was sent off late in the game for his goal celebrations.

The striker's elation at scoring his sixth goal of the tournament was short-lived as it swiftly turned to disbelief.

The referee brandished a second yellow card for what was deemed excessive celebrations, as the player mimicked Jordan's players by sitting on the floor and pretending to eat by himself.

Casas took issue with the referee's decision during the post-match press conference.

"In a big tournament like the Asian Cup, you cannot exclude a player after celebrating a goal. The same happened in the first half with the Jordanian players and the referee didn't take any action," Casas told reporters.

Despite the one-man disadvantage, Iraq seemed poised to secure their spot in the last eight as the clock approached 90 minutes.

However, Jordan's Yazan Al-Arab equalised in the 95th minute before Nizar Al-Rashdan struck with a spectacular long-range shot just two minutes later, shattering Iraqi hopes of progression.

Iraq following their elimination- Getty
Iraq following their elimination- Getty

Tensions ran high during the post-game press conference as some Iraqi reporters vented their frustration.

They pointed, shouted angrily at Casas, and even approached him at the front of the room before security intervened and escorted them out.

"Concerning my future, I'm calm and our goal is to qualify for the 2026 World Cup," Casas said.

"Anything might happen and I'm very calm."

With Iraq out, Jordan will now square off against tournament debutants Tajikistan in the quarter-finals.

"The confidence that we have made us believe we could come back and this is what we've done," Jordan manager, Hussein Ammouta told the media.

"In added time we came back, we equalised and we exploited Iraq being down one man.

"We have a strong mentality and we have to maintain it so we can go further in this tournament."

Featured Image Credit: CGTN Sports- Youtube

Topics: Football