This will probably go down as the most famous sports call in the history of the Middle East. Here’s what it sounded like when Younis Mahmoud Khalef scored his game winning goal.

If this doesn’t give you goose bumps every time you hear it, you’re probably related to Bush or Cheney.

And here’s the call when the referee blew the final whistle–giving the “Lions Of The Two Rivers”, a team comprised of Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds, its first Asian Cup in its first ever appearance in the tournament.

Here are some quick post game notes:

  • Iraq’s Brazilian coach, Jorvan Vieira resigned after the game.
  • The team wore black arm bands during post match interviews to honor the Iraqis that were killed during the celebrations that followed their semi-final victory over South Korea.
  • Mahmoud let his feelings be known to the A.P. on the U.S. occupation of his country. “I want America to go out. 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.”
  • Mahmoud also won’t be heading back to to his country any time soon–and for good reason. “I don’t want the Iraqi people to be angry with me. If I go back with the team, anybody could kill me or try to hurt me.”
  • Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s office announced that each Iraqi player will receive $10,000.
  • This Asian Cup victory qualifies Iraq for next year’s Confederation Cup in South Africa–a tournament that the United States will also take part in. If you thought this game was huge, just imagine what it would be like if these guys got to play one another.

Finally, here’s a great description of what it was like to watch the game from inside a Baghdad cafe. Arwa Damon, the CNN reporter I mentioned last entry, nicely sums up why this victory is such a big deal.



  1. So I wonder how negative a view CNN Bagdad reporter Micheal Wier or many of the other downer notables at CNN will take on this hopeful watershed event.

    They just don’t get it. Democracy giving birth is often a very unpleasant site and experience. Our own American history demonstrates that much.

    These excellent Iraqi players excelled not because they had the tradtional gun to their heads, but triumphed with freedom flowing through their veins which all can appreciate.

    CNN as a whole should get off of the whiners wagon and start balancing their reporting with many aspects of good news from this country finally free beginning their journey as champions!

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