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Iraq wins its first Asian Cup title

 Iraq became the winner of the 2007 Asian Cup, beating Saudi Arabia 1-0.

Iraq wins its first Asian Cup title Header by Younis Mahmoud in the second half won Iraq its first Asian Cup title. The Iraqi team won 1-0 over the Saudi Arabia on the final of the 2007 Asian Cup in Jakarta on Sunday. The Saudi Arabia team entered the final looking for a forth title, but the will of the Iraqi footballers brought some happiness to the war-torn country. The challenges which the Iraqi football team had to undergo in order to compete for the Asian Cup were enormous and only made the victory sweeter.

 Before the final, the striker Younis Mahmoud said: "We know that by winning, we can make the Iraqi people happy."

 Thousands of people celebrated on Sunday in the streets of Bagdad, despite of warnings by the authorities against large crowds. During the semi-final some 50 people were killed in a bomb attack in Bagdad. In order to prevent a repeat bloodshed, the use of vehicles in Bagdad was banned until 6:00 am local time on Monday.

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 The Iraq's road to the title started in Group A with Australia, Thailand and Oman. One win and two draws gave Iraq the lead in the group with 5 points. In the quarter-finals Iraq won 2-0 against Vietnam and on the semi-final the Iraqi beat the third-placed Korea Republic 4-3 by penalty shots, after 0-0 during regular time. Younis Mahmoud tied for top goalscorer of the 2007 Asian Cup with 4 goals.

Published on 07/29/2007

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