Iraq Beat Saudi Arabia to Win Asian Cup Football

July 29th, 2007

Iraq’s Captain Younis Mahmoud’s headed goal crowned Iraq as the Asian Cup champions for the first time with a 1-0 win over Saudi Arabia in the final on Sunday, 29th July 2007. The 71st-minute header off a Hawar Mohammed corner was the only goal in the fiercely-contested all-Arab final over the three-time champion Saudis in a seething Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.

It was a coaching triumph for Brazilian Jorvan Vieira, 54, who only signed a two-month contract with the Iraqi Football Federation and said on Saturday he intended to quit the job after accomplishing what he had set out to achieve.

Thousands of Iraqis have spilled onto the streets to celebrate their football squad’s Asian Cup victory, firing guns into the air despite a government ban.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who was at the Gelora Bung National Stadium for the final, said,

Iraq’s achievement had inspired millions and was proof of sport’s unique power to unite people in the most desperate circumstances.

Attack is not always the best Defence. Saudi Arabia had been the best attacking team in the tournament, scoring 12 goals on their way to the final, but could not find a way past the Iraqis, who had the best defence in the competition, conceding just two goals in six matches. 

Earlier, Iraq surprised the football world by beating tournament favourites Australia, and then former winners South Korea in Wednesday’s semi-final match.

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