In a dramatic semifinal clash during the King's Cup 2023, India locked horns with Iraq. Regulation time concluded with both teams level at 2-2. However, the fate of the match was sealed in a nail-biting penalty shootout in the backdrop of Chiang Mai's 700th Anniversary Stadium, Thailand.
King’s Cup 2023 Semifinal: India Vs. Iraq
Football • 8 Sept, 2023 • 2,081 Views
By: Shivani Chourasia
1.Indian Strategy and Iraq’s Press
Despite their iconic blue jersey, the Indian team, ranked 99th globally, was initially on the back foot, displaying a deep defence and countering strategy. Iraq, being the top-ranked team in the tournament at 70th position, showcased their dominance from the onset. India's defense led by Sandesh Jinghan faced waves of attacks but managed to stay firm.
Test your knowledge of Football here:
Play a Practice Quiz
2. Scoring Action
India took an unexpected lead, with Sahal Abdul Samad leveraging an open space behind Iraq’s defence, assisting Naorem Mahesh to score the first goal. However, the lead was short-lived. Sandesh Jinghan's handball offence earned him a yellow card and Iraq a penalty, which Ali Al-Hamadi successfully converted.
1.Intensity and Equalizing Moves
Test your knowledge of Sports here:
Play a Practice Quiz
Post the halftime break, India displayed an invigorated approach, swiftly regaining the lead due to an unfortunate own goal by Iraqi goalkeeper Jalal Hassan Hachim. However, Iraq soon restored parity. Aymen Hussein was fouled inside the box, resulting in a penalty. He confidently took the spot-kick, sending the ball past the diving Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
2. Closing Moments
Iraq, in their zeal to find the winner, consistently launched long balls towards the Indian defence. They suffered a setback when Zidane Iqbal received a straight red, reducing them to 10 men. Despite the numerical advantage, India couldn’t capitalize.
Penalties & Historical Context
The no-extra-time rule of the tournament pushed the teams directly to the penalty shootout. Here, Brandon Fernandes's attempt struck the post, culminating in a 5-4 win for Iraq. This defeat marked India's seventh loss in their last eight meetings against Iraq.
India is now set to battle the losing side from the Thailand-Lebanon match for the third spot. Drawing inspiration from their past, India recalls their bronze medal victory in the 2019 King’s Cup, following a win against Thailand after a defeat to Curacao in the semis.
The absence of Sunil Chhetri was palpable, yet the Men in Blue showcased resilience. The intense face-off with Iraq, peppered with key moments and dramatic turns, will undoubtedly remain etched in the memories of football enthusiasts. The focus now shifts to the upcoming match, with hopes of clinching the third position.
Real Madrid vs Real Sociedad La Liga Highlights: From Early Deficit to Victory
Football • 18 Sept, 2023 • 3,538 Views
Bolivia vs Argentina & Peru vs Brazil: FIFA Qualifiers Highlights
Football • 13 Sept, 2023 • 1,344 Views
Scotland vs England Highlights: An Iconic Clash Celebrated on its 150th Anniversary
Football • 13 Sept, 2023 • 1,267 Views
Portugal's Historic Rout: 9-0 Win Over Luxembourg Without Ronaldo - Match Highlights
Football • 12 Sept, 2023 • 1,211 Views
Argentina vs. Ecuador Highlights
Football • 8 Sept, 2023 • 2,285 Views