King’s Cup 2023 Semi-Final: Iraq knocks out India on penalties after match ends 2-2

Iraq on 7 September knocked out India in the semi-final match of the King’s Cup 2023, held in Thailand’s Chiang Mai. The Iraq team won the match on penalties by 5-4 after it ended 2-2 at full time. 

Now Iraq, which is sitting 29 places above India in the FIFA Rankings, will go on to face the winner of the second semi-final, where the host nation, Thailand, squares off against Lebanon.

India faced the World No. 70 Arab side, which is the toughest since winning the Tri-Nation International Friendly Football, Intercontinental Cup, and SAFF Championship 2023 in June-July.

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For India, Mahesh gave the first lead in the 17th minute, but it was soon equalized by AFC Wimbledon man Ali Al-Hamadi in the 28th minute.

Till half time, both the teams scored one goal each and were figuring out a way to supersede each other.

Post-half-time, a blunder of an error by Iraqi goalie Hasan gave India the lead in the 51st minute. As time passed, things started to heat up in the field, with Iran trying to score an equalizer, while India trying to score one more to secure its win.

By the 79th minute, Iran received a penalty and did not miss the chance to score for his team. Ghadhban himself takes the kick and lasers it past Gurpreet’s right, resulting in an equalizer for Iran 2-2.

Despite 4 minutes of added time, both teams ended in a draw 2-2. Following this. The penalty shootout began.

For India, Fernandes, Jhingan, Suresh Singh, Anwar Ali, and Rahim Ali took the shots, which only Fernandes missed. However, Iran players ensured all shots reached a result in a goal. Hence they won by 5-4 in penalties against India and reached the finals of the tournament.

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Updated: 08 Sep 2023, 02:10 PM IST



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