Tens of thousands of fans descended upon Iraq’s capital Baghdad to celebrate the country’s historic Gulf Cup victory against Oman on Thursday. The celebrations came despite a fatal stampede occurring in the stadium hosting the final, in Basra, during which four were killed and dozens were injured. The 3-2 victory marks Iraq’s first win of the prestigious tournament since 1988.
The Iraqi national team was crowned with the title of the Arab Gulf Cup “Khaleeji” 25, by defeating its counterpart, Oman, 3-2, in extra time, after a 1-1 draw in the regular time, which was held at the Trunk of the Palm Stadium in the city of Basra.
Thousands of Iraqis watched the matches in different regions in the governorates of Iraq through various public squares and in cafes. Citizen Abeer Ali, an employee, told us that she was happy with this victory, and that the Iraqi people have been waiting for this for a long time.
While Hassan Haider mentioned that the Iraqi youth are very happy to be crowned with the championship, and we need to qualify for the next World Cup, and that the Gulf Championship has proven the ability of the Iraqis to hold any championship at the Asian and international levels.
Ibrahim Baish opened the goal for the Iraqi national team with a powerful shot from outside the penalty area in the 24th minute of the match.
The Oman national team dominated the course of the first half, but failed to score against Iraq, thanks to the brilliance of goalkeeper Jalal Al-Hassan.
In the second half, the Oman national team pressed hard and took possession of the ball by 62% in order to equalize the score, amid the Iraqi national team returning back and playing on counter-attacks and securing the result of progress with a goal.
Jalal Al-Hassan, the goalkeeper of the Iraqi national team, saved a penalty kick that Jamil Al-Yahmadi took in the 82nd minute of the match.
And there were more opportunities for the Oman national team in the second half. The owner of the land, the Iraqi national team, sneezed, but Jalal Al-Hassan continued his brilliance in all the opportunities that reached him.
And Saleh Al Yahya managed to score the equalizing goal for the Oman national team from a penalty kick in the “100th” minute of stoppage time, so that the two teams would play extra time.
And the tie continued with a goal between Iraq and Oman in the extra first half, amid an exchange of control by the two teams.
Amjad Atwan snatched the second goal for the Iraqi national team from a penalty kick in the “116th” minute of the match in the second half of extra time.
The Oman national team equalized the score in the 119th minute, through Omar Al-Maliki, from a powerful header, in the absence of Iraq’s defense.
Manaf Younis scored the third goal for the Iraqi national team with a distinctive header in the 122nd minute of the additional second half.
And the Iraqi national team achieved its fourth title in the Arab Gulf Cup and the first since 1998, thanks to today’s victory over Oman, 3-2.