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Iraqi football team wins the Asian football Cup

Imagine a team in Iraq comprising of members from all 3 main sections, Shia, Sunni and the Kurds. Sounds difficult to achieve in the kind of sectarian conflicts ongoing in Iraq today, with death squads, bombings, and so on; but was possible. An Iraqi football team, in a keenly contested final in Indonesia won the Asian football cup by defeating the Saudi Arabian team. Who would have thought it possible? A team, handicapped by the conflict in their home country is galvanized enough to run through all their opponents and bring home a major victory.

The huge roar inside the stadium was no doubt bettered by wildly celebrating supporters back in their war-ravaged homeland where Iraqis risked death to rejoice the unifying triumph of their national football team. Iraq blunted the resistance of the Saudis, who could not counter the determination and steel of their Gulf rivals in the crackling decider to the three-week continental tournament.
Iraq, who have captivated the football world with their inspirational progress at the tournament, finished conceding just two goals in their six games and put a spanner in the free-flowing Saudis, who were the leading scorers with 12 goals. The driven Iraqis have showed great resolve throughout the tournament, crushing Australia 3-1 and negotiating South Korea on penalties in last Wednesday’s gruelling two-hour semi-final in Kuala Lumpur.
It was a coaching triumph for Brazilian Jorvan Vieira, 54, who only signed a two-month contract with the Iraqi Football Federation and said Saturday he intended to quit the job after accomplishing what he had set out to achieve.

The clash with Saudi Arabia would have been all the more sweet because the Saudis are at this time, being accused of starting to support Sunni tribes in Iraq, and it is an open question as to how much of this aid is going to the Sunni insurgency, which is also working with Al-Qaeda in Iraq.
This is a great moment for Iraq, and would keep morale flying in the country for atleast a couple of days, till the next major bombing or other such disaster.

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