A war-affected nation received its first Asian Cup
July 30: Iraqi players brought cheers amid violence to thousands of their countrymen on Sunday when they defeated three times Asian Cup champion Saudi Arab in the final of Asian Cup championship in Jakarta, capital of Indonesia.
This golden moment though a team effort but apparently provided by the captain of the team Younis Mahmoud who headed the ball pass into the back of the net as a chance given by Hawar Mohammed. The first and the only goal of the match came in 72 nd minute of the match.
Before that various attempts of the captain were foiled by the Saudi Goal keeper. But Iraq was constant on her attacks as tried her hand on goals many times. Once Younis tried to play through by Hawar Taher though to be blocked by Al Mosailem of Saudi Arabia. He also frustrated the effort of Nashat Ali.
First half was dominated by the Saudi Arabia taken over by the Iraq attack in the later half.
People took the victory as a door to happiness and hope. People celebrated the historic victory on the streets despite the danger of bomb attacks and gunfire calling it their right to live like others.
Their Brazilian coach, Vieira who had a two month contract with the national team poured praises over Iraqi players saying that they are hard workers and they wanted to win and were confident of this win. He told that he enjoyed his association with the players.
Coach dedicated the victory to the physiotherapist of the team who died in a bombing recently just before the departure of the team from the country. Iraqis proved their worth before several champions with Saudi Arab itself a three time championship and five time final-entry.
Security arrangements were tightened in view of the previous bomb attack by the terrorists on soccer fans in Baghdad killing 55 people and hurting at least 135 when they were celebrating Iraq’s win in semi-final. To avoid potential attack by the militants on the football fans traffic curfews were imposed.
After four years of war people from warring factions came out in unity to celebrate the historical sport phenomenon.
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