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Friday, December 15, 2006

Qatar football team takes the gold medal as Asian Games finish

The Asian Games finished with a bang for Qatar today as, just anMany expat residents supported the Qatar team hour before the start of an amazing closing ceremony based on the 1001 nights, they beat Iraq 1-0 to win the gold medal in the Asian Games football tournament.

The game itself was far from spectacular, and though Qatar easily outplayed Iraq, they were far from their best. Despite this, Qatar could easily have had several more goals - Sebastian Quintana very nearly scored seven minutes into the game, but the Iraqi goalkeeper managed to deflect his header out of the net. Apart from that the first half was uneventful, with some mostly unconvincing attempts by the Qatar team, although Khalfan Ibrahim did have a spectacular run at the goal, easily beating several Iraqi players but not quite able to score.

Iraq made more of an effort in the second half, putting the host team under pressure for the first time This save by the Iraqi goalkeeper wasn't enough to save the gamein the game, although Qatar rarely looked in serious danger of conceding a goal. Finally, Qatar player Rajem managed to connect with a shot from the corner, heading the ball into the net from just a few yards out.

The athmosphere in the packed 18,000 seat stadium was fantastic, and there was huge support for Qatar, with chants varying from "Allah Akbar" to "Oleh-oleh". At the end of the match the cheering was so loud it was deafening, as the Qatar team threw their coach and anyone else in grabbing distance into the air. It's a fantastic result for this incredibly small country, and a great way to end a very successful Asian Games.

Also see; Iraqi soccer team scores major upset over terrorists

Qatar soccer

Qataris wave a banner in support of their team
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