Tehran: Iraq boosted their chances of qualifying for the Finals with a 2-0 win over Turkmenistan in Group C of the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 Qualifiers on Sunday.
Iraq had opened their campaign with a 5-0 win over Yemen on Matchday 1 while Turkmenistan had suffered a 3-1 defeat to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Iraq, champions of the inaugural edition in 2013, started the better of the two and their early pressing paid off at the PAS Stadium in Tehran as forward Murad Mohammed Subeh, who scored twice in the win over Yemen, gave them the lead in the 17th minute.
Turkmenistan, needing a win to keep their hopes alive, fought back and despite Iraq's dominance, a second goal proved elusive for the remainder of the first half.
The second 45 minutes were also a feisty affair with referee Banerjee Pranjal showing the yellow card to five Turkmenistan and four Iraq players.
There was, however, a second goal for Iraq as substitute Sajjad Jabbar Al-Farttoosi ensured them the three points with his strike in the 88th minute.
Iraq will end their campaign against Iran on Tuesday while Turkmenistan will play Yemen.