2007 AFC Asian Cup Final

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2007 AFC Asian Cup Final
Event 2007 AFC Asian Cup
Date 29 July 2007
Venue Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, Jakarta
Man of the Match Nashat Akram (Iraq)
Referee Mark Shield (Australia)
Attendance 60,000
Weather Clear
30 °C (86 °F)
45% humidity

The AFC Asian Cup 2007 Final was a football match that took place on 29 July 2007 at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia, to determine the winner of the 2007 AFC Asian Cup. Iraq defeated Saudi Arabia 1–0 with a goal from Younis Mahmoud. This victory secured Iraq's first Asian Cup title[1][2] and completed what is regarded as one of sport's greatest fairytales.[3][4] Younis Mahmoud got the only goal in the game, a header from a corner in the 73rd minute,[5][6] and this win saw Iraq qualify for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa.

The tournament's closing ceremony was held immediately prior to kickoff.


The final was played between Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Iraq, coached by Brazilian Jorvan Vieira, qualified for the final after topping their group thanks to draws with Thailand and Oman either side of an emphatic 3–1 win against tournament favourites Australia. A 2–0 quarter-final win over co-hosts Vietnam followed before they defeated South Korea in a penalty shootout in the semi-final to qualify for their first ever Asian Cup final. Saudi Arabia, also led by a Brazilian coach (Hélio dos Anjos), topped Group D before 2–1 and 3–2 wins over Uzbekistan and Japan respectively in the quarter-final and semi-final stages saw them into the final. For Iraq, victory would bring its first ever Asian Cup title, whereas Saudi Arabia were hoping for their fourth title. Iraq were the underdogs, with the war-torn nation almost pulling out of the game after a suicide bomber killed 30 football fans who were celebrating the semi-final win over South Korea,[7] but were helped by the millions of Iraqis around the world who supported the team in their effort to complete what would eventually be one of sport's greatest fairytales.

Route to the final[edit]

Iraq Round Saudi Arabia
Opponent Result Group stage Opponent Result
 Thailand 1–1 Match 1  South Korea 1–1
 Australia 3–1 Match 2  Indonesia 2–1
 Oman 0–0 Match 3  Bahrain 4–0
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Iraq 3 1 2 0 4 2 +2 5
 Australia 3 1 1 1 6 4 +2 4
 Thailand 3 1 1 1 3 5 −2 4
 Oman 3 0 2 1 1 3 −2 2
Final standing
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Saudi Arabia 3 2 1 0 7 2 +5 7
 South Korea 3 1 1 1 3 3 0 4
 Indonesia 3 1 0 2 3 4 −1 3
 Bahrain 3 1 0 2 3 7 −4 3
Opponent Result Knockout stage Opponent Result
 Vietnam 2–0 Quarterfinals  Uzbekistan 2–1
 South Korea 0–0 (4–3 pen.) Semifinals  Japan 2–3



Iraq dominated the first half of the match, and had chances to score through Qusay Munir and Younis Mahmoud before Karrar Jassim's shot was saved after a mazing run through the Saudi defence. Saudi Arabia's first real chance was a long-range shot from Taisir Al-Jassim in the second half which was well-saved by Noor Sabri. The Saudis survived a scare when Younis Mahmoud and Nashat Akram both had close-range efforts saved in quick succession by Yasser Al Mosailem. Saudi Arabia struggled to deal with Nashat Akram's close control and creativity in midfield as he carved out a number of chances for the eventual champions, and the deadlock was broken on 73 minutes when Younis Mahmoud sent Hawar Mulla Mohammed's corner looping over a flailing Al Mosailem and into the back of the net with a header to send the Iraqi fans wild and put them within touching distance of a remarkable victory. Despite taking the lead, Iraq continued to attack the Saudi goal with Nashat playing Younis through on goal with a delightful pass only for the striker to slide the ball right at the Saudi 'keeper, wasting a chance to put the game to bed. For all their domination, Iraq were left holding their breath in injury time when Saudi Arabia striker Malek Maaz's header bounced just over the crossbar, but the final whistle blew soon after to signify that the Lions of Mesopotamia had won the Asian Cup for the first time.[9]

After the match, Nashat Akram was named the "most valuable player" of the game, with Younis Mahmoud receiving the award for "most valuable player" of the tournament and sharing the top scorer award with Yasser Al-Qahtani and Naohiro Takahara.[10] The Iraqi team, a mixture of Sunni, Shia and Kurdish players, received international acclaim as they helped unite the people of a fractured, war-torn nation and bring them happiness that they so rarely get to enjoy. Iraq's manager Jorvan Vieira said he was proud of how the players won the cup with such little preparation and without being allowed to play national games in their own country but also announced that he was stepping down as Iraq manager after the victory.[11]


29 July 2007
Iraq  1 – 0  Saudi Arabia
Mahmoud Goal 73' Report
Saudi Arabia
GK 22 Noor Sabri
DF 2 Jassim Mohammed Ghulam
DF 3 Bassim Abbas Substituted off 89'
MF 5 Nashat Akram
FW 10 Younis Mahmoud (c) Booked 38'
MF 11 Hawar Mulla Mohammed
MF 13 Karrar Jassim Booked 24' Substituted off 83'
DF 14 Haidar Abdul-Amir
DF 15 Ali Rehema Booked 75'
MF 18 Mahdi Karim Substituted off 90'
MF 24 Qusay Munir Booked 9'
FW 16 Ahmad Mnajed Substituted in 83'
MF 7 Ali Abbas Substituted in 89'
MF 8 Ahmad Abid Ali Substituted in 90'
Brazil Jorvan Vieira
GK 1 Yasser Al Mosailem Booked 43'
DF 3 Osama Hawsawi
DF 7 Kamel Al-Mousa
FW 9 Malek Mouath
MF 14 Saud Khariri Booked 15'
DF 15 Ahmed Al-Bahri Substituted off 84'
MF 16 Khaled Aziz
FW 17 Taisir Al-Jassim Substituted off 76'
MF 18 Abdulrahman Al-Qahtani Substituted off 46'
DF 19 Waleed Jahdali Booked 38'
MF 20 Yasser Al-Qahtani (c)
MF 30 Ahmed Al-Mousa Substituted in 46'
MF 28 Abdoh Otaif Substituted in 76'
FW 11 Saad Al-Harthi Substituted in 84'
Brazil Hélio dos Anjos
Celebrations of Iraqis in London.

Man of the Match:
Nashat Akram (Iraq)

Assistant referees:
Begench Allaberdiyev (Turkmenistan)
Mohamed Saeed (Maldives)
Fourth official:
Saad Kamil Al-Fadhli (Kuwait)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wang, Chris. "Iraq in historic Asian Cup win". Aljazeera. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  2. ^ "AFC Asian Cup category". SOCCERFIESTA.NET. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  3. ^ Lampen, Jerry. "Iraq ride wave of support to lift Asian Cup". Reuters. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  4. ^ "Iraq 1-0 Saudi Arabia". BBC Sport. 29 July 2007. Retrieved 15 October 2014. 
  5. ^ "Iraq ride wave of support to lift Asian Cup". Reuters. 29 July 2007. Retrieved 15 October 2014. 
  6. ^ "Jubilant Iraqis Savor Their Soccer Triumph". Washington Post. 29 July 2007. Retrieved 15 October 2014. 
  7. ^ Montague, James. "Forget Kaka, my player of the year is Younis Mahmoud". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  8. ^ "AFC Asian Cup 2007". Iraq National Football Team. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  9. ^ "Iraq 1-0 Saudi Arabia". BBC. 29 July 2007. Retrieved 30 December 2014. 
  10. ^ "Younis Mahmoud Profile". YounisMahmoud.com. 30 December 2014. Retrieved 30 December 2014. 
  11. ^ "Sensation as Iraq claims Asia crown". Dailymail. 30 July 2007. Retrieved 30 December 2014.