Asian Games Doha 2006

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Iraq celebrate as they reach Soccer Final

They are one of the biggest surprises of the Games. Iraqis celebrated with gunfire and cheers in Baghdad on Tuesday after the national soccer team advanced to the final at Doha 2006.

Indeed, Iraq defeated South Korea 1-0 in the semifinals and will compete Friday against host Qatar for its first gold medal in soccer in more than two decades. Qatar defeated defending champion Iran 2-0 in the other semifinal.

This win offered some relief from the daily violence in their country: "All of us gathered in one home to enjoy watching our team, such a result will make everybody happy, despite the hard security situation," Iraqi tennis player Akram Mustafa Abdul Karim expressed.

According to the records, Iraq scored 24 minutes into the game, when Ahmed Mohammed slipped a long pass beyond Kim Chi-gon to captain Younes Khalef, who raced down the field and faked out the keeper only to have his shot blocked by defender Kim Jin-kyu.

We must mention that Samer Mujabel picked up the deflection and headed it for the goal.

It's interesting to know Salam Abdul Wahed, who owns a convenience store in Diwaniyah, 130 kilometres south of the capital. He plans to follow through with a promise to treat his friends to lunch if the squad won.