ACT News

Canberra's Asian Cup party capped off with terrific atmosphere between Iran and Iraq supporters

Fans were chanting, the face-paint was everywhere to see and the drums were banging for at least a couple of hours before kick-off.

Friday night's emotion-charged Asian Cup quarter-final between Iran and Iraq was the perfect ending to a wonderful 14 days at Canberra Stadium.

Any doubts of the success of the tournament had been laid to rest by the fanatical support for the teams and the huge crowds who have converged on the national capital for the past two weeks.

Iran has had one of the biggest travelling contingents throughout the Asian Cup, and it was no different in Canberra.

Supporters were whipped up in a frenzy before the game as they congregated outside the stadium.

Lida Hemmaty made the trip down from Sydney as Iran continued on its quest to try and win the Asian Cup for the first time since 1976.

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"It's amazing and unreal that they've made it this far,"' Ms Hemmaty said.

"We're so proud.

"Guaranteed 100 per cent they're going to win tonight, no doubt."

A security fence was placed on the Canberra Stadium playing surface after there was a pitch invader for Iraq's 2-0 win against Palestine on Tuesday night.

Iraq coach Radhi Swadi had called on the Local Organising Committee to separate rival fans for fear of possible trouble.

"I don't think there is going to be any problem, it's two teams playing against each other," Ms Hemmaty said.

"We're neighbouring countries, so I highly doubt there will be any trouble.

"It's going to be a great atmosphere."

Iraq supporter Kahdhim Alhifi, who travelled from Melbourne for the game, also believed the fans could co-exist.

"As a Muslim country, we like Iran and they like us, so I reckon today it will be peaceful because football's all about peach," Mr Alhifi said.

"It means something very special for Iraq and all the Iraqi fans.

"We're looking forward to our boys giving us a great win."

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