Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:12PM
This file photo shows Iran U-23 soccer team.
This file photo shows Iran U-23 soccer team.

Iran’s national soccer team has edged past China to reach the last eight of the 2016 AFC U-23 Championship.

The entertaining match in the Qatari capital of Doha saw Iran scoring three times against China’s two to secure second place in Group A and qualify for the next round to meet Japan.

Arsalan Motahhari, Ehsan Pahlavan and Mehdi Torabi scored in the dying minutes of the first half and early in the second period while goals by Chang Feiya and Liao Lisheng failed to stop an Iran victory.

Mohammed Khakpour’s team collected six pints from three matches to stand second in the group A behind Qatar, which came from behind to beat Syria 4-2.

Iranian U-23 soccer players started their campaign at the continental sporting event with a 2-0 victory over Syria on January 12, before conceding a 2-1 defeat to the Qatari outfit.

The 2016 AFC U-23 Championship started in Doha, Qatar, on January 12, and will run until January 30. A total of 16 teams competed in the tournament.

The top three teams of the 2016 AFC U-23 Championship will qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics men’s soccer tournament in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.