Iraq Prevails in Thrilling Penalty Shootout, Eliminates India 4-5 in King’s Cup 2023 Semifinal

Cup, Eliminates, India, Iraq, Kings, penalty, Prevails, Semifinal, Shootout, Thrilling

SEO Friendly News Article

A Sunil Chhetri-Less India Misses Out on Historic Win over Iraq

Late Penalty Denies India Victory in Kings Cup Semifinal

June 10, 2021


Despite a commendable performance, a Sunil Chhetri-less Indian football team fell short of securing its first-ever victory against higher-ranked Iraq in the Kings Cup semifinal. Iraq managed to equalize with a disputed penalty and eventually won the match 5-4 in penalties.

Debatable Penalty Call

The turning point of the match came in the 79th minute when the referee controversially awarded a penalty to Iraq. Aymen Ghadhban, Iraqi striker, was seemingly squeezed by two defenders during a tussle to reach a high cross. Despite doubts, Ghadhban took the penalty and scored to level the match 2-2.

Penalty Shootout Dramatics

  • Iraq secured a 5-4 victory in the penalty shootout.
  • Brandon Fernandez missed his penalty for India as his kick hit the post and went out.

Tournament Format

According to the tournament’s rule, if the scores are level at the end of regulation time, matches will be decided via a penalty shootout. There is no provision for extra time play.

India’s Courageous Display

In the absence of Sunil Chhetri, India’s star striker and captain, due to personal reasons, the Indian team put up an impressive performance against Iraq, who are ranked 70th in the FIFA chart compared to India’s 99th position. India played on equal terms with Iraq for the majority of the semifinal match.

Match Recap

Mahesh Naorem gave India the lead in the 16th minute, which was equalized by Karim Ali in the 28th minute through a penalty. India regained the lead in the 51st minute due to an own goal by Iraq’s captain and goalkeeper Jalal Hasan.

Numerical Advantage

Zidane Iqbal of Iraq received a red card in the injury stoppage time for elbowing Brandon Fernandez. However, India couldn’t make the most of Iraq being reduced to 10 men as there was no additional time and the match concluded within a minute.

Unbeaten Streak Ends

The defeat marked the end of India’s impressive 11-match unbeaten streak this year.

Head-to-Head Statistics

  • This was the 8th encounter between India and Iraq.
  • Iraq emerged victorious in 6 matches, with one ending in a draw.
  • The previous meeting took place in November 2010, resulting in a 2-0 victory for Iraq in an international friendly.

Overall, despite the loss, it was a commendable performance by the Indian team, showcasing their potential to compete against stronger opponents in international football.

ALSO READ: ISL 2023-24 schedule: Full list of Indian Super League matches, East Bengal vs Mohun Bagan on October 28

Leave a Comment