Iran and Korea square off for basketball gold as Haddadi free throws deny brave Kazakhs
Hamed Haddadi made the two clutch free throws with three seconds left that capped Iran's fightback from an eight-point deficit in the fourth quarter against Kazakhstan. Jerome Ascano

INCHEON, Korea — Asian champions Iran and host South Korea set up a showdown for the basketball gold medal of the 2014 Asian Games after beating separate rivals on Wednesday.

Hamed Haddadi sank two free throws with 3.8 seconds left as Iran came back from an eight-point deficit in the fourth to escape with an 80-78 win over Kazakhstan at the Hwaseong Sports Complex.

Korea defeated Japan, 71-63, in the other semifinal match at the Samsan World Gymnasium to stay in contention for a gold medal match even with top gunner Moon Taejoon scoring only seven points for the host.

The Iran-Korea match for the gold is set on Thursday at the Samsan World Gymnasium, guaranteeing a new Asiad champion after 2010 winner China failed to make the semifinals.

Kazakhstan and Japan, meanwhile, will battle for the bronze in the same venue.

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