Iraq make home turf Gulf Cup final with 2-1 victory over Qatar

Iraq make home turf Gulf Cup final with 2-1 victory over Qatar
2 min read
16 January, 2023
Iraq's football team are just one step away from lifting the Gulf Cup on home turf after a 2-1 victory over Qatar on Monday.
Iraq's victory was met with elation from fans and players alike [Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP via Getty]

Iraq's football team are just one step away from lifting the Gulf Cup on home turf after a 2-1 victory over Qatar on Monday.

Ibrahim Bayesh scored 19 minutes into the semi-final match at the Basra International Stadium to put Iraq 1-0 up.

Qatar's Amro Surag equalised nine minutes later, but any relief from drawing level was short-lived as Aymen Hussein put the Mesopotamian Lions back into the lead just before the end of the first half.

Iraq held onto their lead until the full-time whistle, to the delight of the home crowd.

There were tears of elation from the players, including goalscorer Hussein, who was given the man of the match award.

Iraq, who have won the Gulf Cup three times in the tournament's 53-year history, will face either Oman or defending champions Bahrain in the final on Thursday for another stab at the title.

Blighted by decades of dictatorship, war, and instability, Iraq is hosting the tournament for the first time since 1979.

It is the biggest sporting event the country has hosted in almost half a century.

The tournament is usually held once every two years. It will next place in Kuwait, in December 2024.