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Asian Cup holds moment's silence for Israel-Hamas war victims ahead of Palestinian team's game

AL-RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — A moment of silence was observed and then shouts of “free Palestine” rang out ahead of the Asian Cup game between Iran and the Palestinian soccer team on Sunday.

As the Israel-Hamas war reached the 100-day mark both teams lined up in the center of the field at Education City Stadium and an announcement asked for silence “in memory of the lives tragically lost as a result of the ongoing situation in Palestine.”

A hush fell across the stadium in the city of Al-Rayyan in Qatar before the pro-Palestinian chants could be heard coming from members of the crowd.

Earlier, Palestinian players stood in a line with their arms linked across each others' shoulders and sang their national anthem along with fans. The players then gathered in a huddle before and after the moment of silence.

The Palestinian soccer team's preparations for the tournament have been carried out without domestic soccer, as well as limited opportunities to play competitive matches.

Three-time champion Iran won Sunday’s game 4-1. Iran scored two early goals as Karim Ansarifard struck inside two minutes and Shoja Khalilzadeh added another in the 12th.

Mehdi Ghayedi made it 3-0 in the 38th.

But the loudest cheers of the game came when Palestinian player Tamer Seyam pulled a goal back in first-half stoppage time.

Sardar Azmoun scored a fourth for Iran 10 minutes after the break.

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AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer