Defending Asian Cup champions Japan crashed out of the tournament after they were beaten on penalties by the United Arab Emirates in Sydney today.
After the match ended 1-1, neither side could find a winner in extra-time and Ismail Ahmed converted the decisive penalty after Shinji Kagawa had missed the first sudden-death spot-kick to send the UAE through to the semi-finals.
The other quarter-final clash served up an incredible contest as Iraq beat Iran 7-6 on penalties after a topsy-turvy match had finished 3-3 after extra-time.
Iraq will now face South Korea in the last four stage while UAE will take on host nation Australia for a place in the final on January 31.
Iran meanwhile have been making headlines off the pitch after reports surfaced that images of Iranian women watching the Asian Cup are once again being censored by television companies in the highly-religious nation.
In Iran, women are not allowed to attend football and volleyball matches as it goes against their religious beliefs, and they are not supposed to mix with men in stadium crowds.
This development follows a similar stance taken by Iranian TV channels during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
When the host broadcaster switched to pictures of women in the crowd, the images were replaced by shots from the crowd of a Barcelona versus Real Madrid game.
On the pitch, underdogs UAE raced into a shock early lead thanks to Ali Mabkhout's neat finish after just seven minutes.
The 24-year-old, who has been in excellent goalscoring form during the tournament, controlled an Amer Abdulrahman pass before he arrowed a strike across Japanese 'keeper Eiji Kawashima into the corner of the net.
Japan then continued to dominate position but they couldn't quite find a way through a resilient UAE defence until nine minutes from time when Gaku Shibasaki fired home a shot from 20 yards.
That was how it stayed throughout the added period and after a dramatic shootout, and Ahmed kept his nerve to seal UAE's progress to the last four for the first time since 1996.
In what as a nervy contest from the off owing to the recent political tensions between the two nations, Iraq and Iran provided one of the most memorable matches in the tournament's history.
Sardar Azmoun gave Iran the lead after 24 minutes with a brilliantly-taken goal, but Ahmed Yasin restored parity four minutes before the hour.
With the score at the end of the 90 minutes locked at one apiece, the contest truly sparked into life during extra-time.
Yonous Mahmood put Iraq ahead before Morteza Pouraliganji headed home an eqauliser in the 103rd minute.
With four minutes remaining, Dhurgham Ismail looked as though he had sealed Iraq's progress but Iran hit back in the dying embers through Reza Choochannejhad to send the match to the dreaded penalty kicks.
The shootout was reflective of the events during the preceding 120 minutes and after Vahid Amiry had missed, Salam Shakir stepped up and tucked his spot-kick away to send Iraq through to the last four.
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