Ali Mabkhout
UAE striker Ali Mabkhout will be hoping to score against Iraq and win the Golden Boot in the 2015 AFC Asian CupReuters

Iraq and United Arab Emirates come face to face in the third place playoff of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup at the Hunter Stadium in Newcastle, Australia on Friday.

After their narrow victory (7-6 on penalties, following a 3-3 draw) over Iran in the quarterfinals of the competition, Iraq's luck ran out as they suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of South Korea in the semifinals.

The 2007 Asian Cup champions struggled to create many chances during that game owing to South Korea's solid defence. Still, striker Younis Mahmoud, who worked very hard, feels that his side have benefitted despite their defeat to South Korea.

"I know they [South Korea] won and went to the final but we won also, we won 20 [experienced] players," said Mahmoud, according to the Daily Star. "They will benefit the national team for the next 10 years."

The 31-year-old striker also dismissed rumours about his retirement after the tournament, insisting that the squad "needs to have experienced players."

"I'm not retiring after this Cup. We're now building a new generation and we need to have experienced players with them in the national team," the striker told Yahoo News.

Now the Lions of Mesopotamia turn their attention to the third place clash against the UAE as they look to secure the consolation prize in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.

Meanwhile, UAE will also be looking to beat Iraq and secure the bronze medal in the Asian Cup.

Mahdi Ali's young side have been impressive in the competition, doing well in the group stages, before beating Asian giants Japan in the quarterfinals 5-4 on penalties following a 1-1 draw.

However, they slumped to a 2-0 defeat to hosts Australia after failing to deal with the Socceroos' early intensity on Tuesday.

And, Ali feels that UAE's momentary loss in concentration resulted in them conceding two goals in the first 15 minutes.

"You need to concentrate in critical moments, especially in the first 15 minutes, at the end of the first half and the start of the second half, but we lost concentration in the first 15 minutes and conceded two goals," Ali told Goal.

"This is a big lesson and we need to learn you have to concentrate for 90 minutes and mistakes are not acceptable, as you lose the game."

Despite the defeat, Ali feels that his players have gained a lot of experience by playing against top sides in the 2015 Asian Cup.

"Playing under pressure every three days against strong teams is a great experience for the players," he added.

The UAE should be fairly confident ahead of their third place clash against Iraq, having won their last two encounters against them.

UAE striker Ali Mabkhout will also be highly motivated ahead of this fixture as a goal against Iraq could see the Al Jazira attacker, who is currently the competition's joint top scorer alongside Jordan's Hamza Aldaradreh with 4 goals, collect the 2015 Asian Cup's Golden Boot.

Although Ali says that it would be "good" if Mabkhout wins the Golden Boot award, he insists that the team are more focused on winning the game.

"If he gets top scorer it would be good for him and the team but the important thing is to win the game and go home happy," said UAE boss Mahdi Ali.

Where to Watch Live

The AFC Asian Cup third place clash is set to begin at 8 pm local time (2.30 pm IST, 9 am GMT) with live coverage in India on Star Sports 4. The match can also be watched via live streaming online on

Viewers in Australia can watch the game live on Fox Sports 4. The match can also be live streamed on Foxtel Play or Fox Sports Live. Catch the action in New Zealand on Sky Sport 3 or Sky Go.

Audience in the UAE and Iraq can watch the game on Bein Sports or live stream the action on Bein Sports Connect. US and Canada viewers can watch the game live on One World Sports.

Also read