Sunday, July 29, 2007

Iraq wins Asian Cup Final against Saudi Arabia, 1-0

Above: The Iraqi team celebrates following the victory. Left: Iraqi fans at today's game.

The Iraqi players are heaped in the center circle weeping. At the far end, Iraqi fans are unfurling flags and screaming. Nashat is named man of the match amid all the chaos. The Iraqi players have a giant flag and are performing a lap of honor.

Read the rest at the NY Times

Inspired Iraq Claims Asian Cup Crown

JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Iraq delivered an inspirational victory Sunday by winning the Asian Cup with a 1-0 victory over Saudi Arabia, a beacon of hope for a nation divided by war.

It was an extraordinary triumph for a team drawn together from all parts of the Gulf and with its players straddling bitter and violent ethnic divides.

Iraq scored on a 71st-minute header by captain Younis Mahmoud and dominated the final against heavily favored Saudi Arabia, a three-time Asian Cup champion. This was Iraq's first Asian Cup title.

Mahmoud met Hawar Mulla Mohammed's corner kick at the far post. Saudi goalkeeper Al Mosailem came for the ball and flapped at it without making contact, presenting an easy chance for an unmarked Mahmoud with a goal that will long live in Iraqi folklore.

At the final whistle, Mahmoud sprinted across the field with his elated teammates in pursuit before they collapsed into a pile, overwhelmed with their achievement.

Read the rest at the Washington Post

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