The final was played between Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Iraq, coached by BrazilianJorvan Vieira, qualified for the final after topping their group thanks to draws with Thailand and Oman and a 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 to qualify for their first 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. 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, 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 sports greatest fairytales.