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Iraq Wins the Asian Cup

They were underdogs against Saudi Arabia and beat them 1-0.

Iraq completed one of sport's great fairytales by beating Saudi Arabia 1-0 in the Asian Cup final on Sunday to provide a rare moment for celebration in their war-torn homeland.

The Saudis had been bidding to become the first four-times winners of the tournament but Iraq, riding a wave of global sentiment, upset the hot-favourites for a rare slice of sporting glory.

Iraqi captain Younis Mahmoud scored the winner in the 71st minute when he climbed above the defence at the far post and headed a perfectly-weighted corner from Hawar Mulla Mohammed into the Saudi net.

When the final whistle sounded, the Iraq players collapsed to the ground in a mixture of shock and an unbridled emotion, kissing the turf and embracing each other after their country's finest sporting moment.

Saudi Arabia were outplayed by an Iraqi team riding high on a wave of national support.

Good for them.

Update: The New York Times has a really touching piece about the difficulties the Iraq team has faced getting to the finals.

Update II: Allahpundit links to the highlight reel of the game. Iraq is in white. And note the song playing in the background when the guys are hoisting the massive trophy over their heads.

Update III: Omar at Iraq the Model files his reaction to his country's win:

Today is definitely the happiest day for Iraqis in years. Tears of joy mixed with prayers for hope on the faces of millions of Iraqis...Words truly fail me and I can't describe the feeling so please pardon me if the post doesn't sound coherent; I hear the cheering and music outside although the bullets of celebration keep falling on the ground and roofs here and there. But no one seems to worry about that, the moment is so great that fear has no place in the hearts of the millions of fans, neither from bullets nor from crazy suicide bombers who tried to kill our joy last week.

Our players, tonight our heroes, learned that only with team work they had a chance to win.
May our politicians learn from the players and from the fans who are painting a glorious image of unity and national pride, and let the terrorists know that nothing can kill the spirit of the sons of the immortal Tigris and Euphrates.

The fear is gone, the curfew is ignored, tonight Iraq knows only joy...


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Comments (30)

Eh it's soccer! LOL<p... (Below threshold)

Eh it's soccer! LOL

But it's good that it united people.

I am sure one of the reside... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

I am sure one of the resident nattering nabobs of negativism will try valiantly to spin this into a bad thing.

Robert, shut up, the true i... (Below threshold)

Robert, shut up, the true international sport of football (erroneously called soccer here in the states) is a global phenomenon. In fact, there are more members of the International regulating body for the sport (FIFA) than there are members of the UN.

People like you and other "Amuricans" who hate soccer because it's not a good "Amurican" sport where you use your hands are uncivilized in my opinion anyway.

People my generation (I'm 25) and younger are taking the sport a lot more seriously due to efforts like AYSO (American Youth Soccer organization) and Pele's influence during the 80's. Just because asshats like you demean it doesn't mean the rest of the world brushes it aside, far from it. This is the kind of event that can bring together a nation.

(When Trinidad and Tobago was shut down by USA in the qualifier game, and the USA went to the world cup in 1990 for the first time since the 1950's, the entire country just about shut down).

By the way, I AM with you o... (Below threshold)

By the way, I AM with you on this Kim, good for them. This is a big step away from the days when the Hussein son ran the team, executing and tortuing the players.

People like you an... (Below threshold)
People like you and other "Amuricans" who hate soccer because it's not a good "Amurican" sport where you use your hands are uncivilized in my opinion anyway.

Just for your reference, not everyone hates "soccer" here. We just have (American)pro-football, college football, college basketball, hockey, baseball, pro-basketball and nascar to watch as well.

What's an Amurican anyway? BTW, I love Football Manager.

Hoo boy, a 1-0 game, I bet ... (Below threshold)
Clint:

Hoo boy, a 1-0 game, I bet it was a chock full of excitement. At least when baseball has a low score its because a pitcher put on a great show. But with soccer its just score a goal and then spend the rest of the game playing "keep away".

Henry,You are one ... (Below threshold)
lowmal:

Henry,

You are one miserable putz..

I think Robert was being a bit facetious..

Personally, I have hated soccer since grade school..

I have always hated hockey, as well..

Your blanket pessimisum is just damned ignorant..

Now go back to kicking kittens and burning ants with a magnifying glass, you over-dramatic kook..

We should remember that und... (Below threshold)
Dave Williams:

We should remember that under the previous Iraq regime, if the Iraq futbol team had lost, there would have been physical beatings and torture for the unfortunate athletes by Uday Hussein. One more thing to be thankful to the American military for...

lol, blanket pessimism? Au ... (Below threshold)

lol, blanket pessimism? Au contraire, I just dislike those who blanketly hate soccer, or those that dismiss it, I've ardently enjoyed the sport since grade school, since playing in clubs and such locally in California, and refereeing the sport as well.

Maybe he was being facetious, it's hard to tell when it's just plain text. Why did you hate soccer? Was it because you were required to run a lot?

Oh, just because a game is low scoring doesn't mean it isn't exciting.

There is hardly any doubt w... (Below threshold)
nehemiah:

There is hardly any doubt which is the #1 sport in the world. The number of people that watch the World Cup probably outnumber those that watch the Super Bowl by about 10 to 1. Anyone can make any sport "sound" boring. NASCAR? Just cars going around in laps. Golf? Just keep hitting it until it goes in the hole. Clint, you obviously haven't experienced the tremendous amount of athleticism, speed, endurance, and intelligence required to play soccer. You must be a liberal (who normally don't have the above skills, but it's okay, since liberals claim that they are at least "artistic").

Soccer, the game that cause... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Soccer, the game that causes thousands to riot and kill. The world sport. It is boring, to me. Boring. Yawn. So is hockey. Golf. Baseball at times. Volley Ball. ww

Henry:lol, bla... (Below threshold)
marc:

Henry:

lol, blanket pessimism? Au contraire, I just dislike those who blanketly hate soccer, or those that dismiss it, I've ardently enjoyed the sport since grade school, since playing in clubs and such locally in California, and refereeing the sport as well.

Well then, it's safe to say you dismiss one hell of a lot of "Amuricans." In fact I'd guess it would amount to about 95% of the population.

You really need to do something about your "issues." Dr. Phil call on line one!

BTW, just how did Pele influence "your generation" that you classify as being 25 years old when he was long gone from the U.S. before your were born?

marc, gee please don't ment... (Below threshold)

marc, gee please don't mention oprah's pet male to me, it sends me into fits of insanity.
Pele influenced my generation by bringing the sport of Soccer to America in the ill-fated NASL (North American Soccer League). Enough young players were influenced by it and got good enough to get us into the World Cup in 1990 (Paul Caliguri's Shot heard round the world...well America's world anyway). Since 1990, the sport has become more and more popular amongst America's youth, especially since the World Cup was hosted in 1994 in the USA (When MLS was founded), we've developed our own homegrown stars such as Landon Donovan, DeMarcus Beasley, Clint Mathis, and such.

In short, of course Pele didn't influence my generation directly, but his work bringing the sport to America, and popularizing it here influenced my generation.

<a href="http://en.wikipedi... (Below threshold)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soccer_in_the_United_States

This late 20th century boom is attributed for the most part to the existence of the North American Soccer League from the 1960's to 1984, and the New York Cosmos, its marquee team which included among its players stellar names like Franz Beckenbauer and Pelé.
"Saudi Arabia were outplaye... (Below threshold)
jp2:

"Saudi Arabia were outplayed by an Iraqi team riding high on a wave of national support."

You left this part out for some reason...

"After the game, Mahmoud called for the United States to withdraw its troops from his nation.

"I want America to go out," he said. "Today, tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, but out. I wish the American people didn't invade Iraq and, hopefully, it will be over soon."

Ya know something, jp2?... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

Ya know something, jp2?

I give Mahmoud's comments the same weight I'd give Barry Bonds talking about politics.

In other words, none. Or less.

It is interesting to note that you proved my earlier point about the nattering nabobs of negativism (and you apparently are one) finding something negative to point out.

For that, I thank you.

Henry:marc, ge... (Below threshold)
marc:

Henry:

marc, gee please don't mention oprah's pet male to me, it sends me into fits of insanity.
Pele influenced my generation by bringing the sport of Soccer to America in the ill-fated NASL (North American Soccer League).

Believe it or not I do know the history of soccer in the U.S. Including Mia Hamm and her teams exploits during the World Cup victory in 1999.

A great achievement.... but in the overall scheme.... big deal!

The sport is is way down the sports fans selections in the U.S. and not even the Beck-Poshization fo the sport will change that.

jp2:You left t... (Below threshold)
marc:

jp2:

You left this part out for some reason... After the game, Mahmoud called for the United States to withdraw its troops from his nation.

"Funny" that quote isn't in the al-Reuters story linked. Did they edit their copy or did jp2 make shit up?

Or pull the quote from somewhere else and lied by omission by not providing the link to it?

Yes, a source for that woul... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

Yes, a source for that would be nice, especially since I've looked through a couple of dozen articles and not seen the same or a similar quote used.

That's what I get for givin... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

That's what I get for giving jp2 the benefit of the doubt and not fact-checking him.

I should know better by now, I know.

I'm just gonna go hang my head in shame.

Yes, shame is something you... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Yes, shame is something you should be familiar with.

More:

Mahmoud also said he will not return to Iraq to celebrate.

"I don't want the Iraqi people to be angry with me," he said. "If I go back with the team, anybody could kill me or try to hurt me."

And a link for the challenged:
http://sports.yahoo.com/sow/news;_ylt=Al.8CLkKPZL1DUPOSdVb_ukmw7YF?slug=ap-asiancup&prov=ap&type=lgns

A hilarious contrast to the "The fear is gone, the curfew is ignored, tonight Iraq knows only joy..." quote.

Some people will believe anything.

Ahh, so jp2 admits he lies ... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

Ahh, so jp2 admits he lies by omission by not posting that link earlier.

He also admits to libeling Kim by insinuating that his quote was contained in story she linked, when in fact it was not.

Marc suggested that you'd be perfect for Blue in another thread, jp2, and I agree. Your kind of lies and libel are just what Lyin' Leeward is looking for. I suggest you email him about a blogging position on Blue right away.

So... jp2, if was so easy t... (Below threshold)
marc:

So... jp2, if was so easy to prove your point and quotes location why omit it from the original comment.

Lazy?

Some people will believe anything.

Sure enough they will. And I bet you would be willing to buy into a muilti-tiered marketing scheme I'm working on.

But I also feel very sure you would NEVER believe this:

Sheiks meet in reconciliation effort at Camp Taji Multi-National
Division - Baghdad PAO


CAMP TAJI, Iraq - Sunni and Shia tribal sheiks from the Iraqi villages
of Aqar Qaf, Bassam, Salamiyat and Fira Shia moved closer to
reconciliation July 16 here during a meeting facilitated by the 1st
Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment.
The sheiks, who are putting aside their differences to band
together to end violence and bloodshed in their villages, met to discuss
ways to start neighborhood watch programs made up of volunteers to
protect their communities and improve the security situation there.
According to Lt. Col. Kenneth Kamper, commander, 1st Bn., 37th
FA Regt., whose Soldiers currently operate in the sheiks' villages, one
of the major reasons for the meeting has been that the sheiks are tired
of attacks on innocent civilians and coalition forces in their
neighborhoods and want to put an end to the presence of Al Qaeda and
other insurgent groups operating there.
"This is the first time in more than three years that these
tribes have sat down to talk-leaders from the west side who are Sunni
and those from the east which are Shia, said Kamper."
"This has been a very positive step on their parts, and it's
important to have them involved in the government process that will lead
to volunteers providing security for their own villages," Kamper added.
"It has been the result of about six weeks of work to bring them to the
table and for this first meeting we're offering them a neutral ground
here on Camp Taji."
Although most of the area of Aqar Qaf falls within the 2nd
Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment's area of responsibility and Bassam
includes a large portion of the 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment's
area, the sheiks who met this day were specifically ones whose tribes
lie within the 1st Bn., 37th FA Regt.'s area of responsibility.
Following on similar efforts in Anbar province and other places,
such as Falahat, Iraq, where neighborhood watch programs are showing
success in reducing violence with volunteers manning traffic control
points and reporting insurgent activities to both coalition and Iraqi
security forces, the sheiks opened the discussion on how best to
implement their own volunteer program.
During the meeting, sheiks determined that each village will be
responsible for providing its own volunteers for security within their
own respective village. There will also be areas, or fault
lines, where combined Sunni and Shia volunteers will work in places that
borders for villages overlap and areas such as on bridges and at traffic
control points.
In the longterm, some of the volunteers will actually become
policemen and will make up the nucleus of a police station after
receiving official government training, inducting them into the Iraqi
security forces, according to Kamper.
The reconciliation of the sheiks will open the doors for
villages working with the Iraqi government and coalition forces to
pursue future projects to improve the quality of life for villagers.
"There has to be a stable security environment or we won't be
able to make any great progress with service projects," said Kamper.
"(Reconciliation) will build a foundation for working service projects
and issues. When the Sunnis and Shia can come together and agree on
security and it improves, eventually we will be able to fix water and
work other projects and begin making dents in the services gap."
Kamper said that the meeting was very positive and that he
believes the sheiks will make progress in their process of
reconciliation.
"Overall, I feel really good about seeing that the two sides are
clearly engaged in a dialogue and are committed to working together,"
said Kamper. "The key thing is that each of the leaders have pledged
themselves to support the Iraqi government and to resist Al Qaeda and
militias."

So... marc, if was so easy ... (Below threshold)
jp2:

So... marc, if was so easy to prove your point and quotes location why omit it from the original comment.

Lazy?

The irony is astounding.

jp2:The irony ... (Below threshold)
marc:

jp2:

The irony is astounding.

Really? Only in your world.

In the real world what was quoted isn't to my knowledge available online. It's a direct quote from a press release from the Army Public Affairs Office via email.

I can send it to you if you desire, even add the email addy so you can get on the list. Reading what is actually happening over there vice thru the filter of the MSM might, I repeat, might improve your knowledge base.

ASSHAT.

Marc, drop me that list ema... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

Marc, drop me that list email address... you should still have my email.

Note sure I do let me check... (Below threshold)
marc:

Note sure I do let me check...

nevermind. can get it off your blog.

Well, that's a disposable, ... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

Well, that's a disposable, but that's OK. I just gotta remember to check it.

Actually, screw it.<p... (Below threshold)
marc:

Actually, screw it.

Anyone with an interest can send a short note requesting to be added to the mailing list.

([email protected])

Within about 24 hours I received my first group of releases when I signed up about 6 months ago and they average about 10-15 per day.

Sometimes you get a large dump of 25-30 on a Friday or Monday.

Marc suggested that you'... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Marc suggested that you'd be perfect for Blue in another thread, jp2, and I agree. Your kind of lies and libel are just what Lyin' Leeward is looking for. I suggest you email him about a blogging position on Blue right away.

"Got whine and lots of free time ? WizbangBlue is for you! Join the cracked (as in mentally fractured) team at WizbangBlue, become a blogger and personally increase their readership by 20% !"((5+1)/5=120%)




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