Historic victory brings joy to Iraq

Iraq achieved one of the most dramatic victories in the modern history of soccer when it won the Asian Cup for the first time, beating Saudi Arabia, 1-0, in Sunday's final in Jakarta, Indonesia, and setting off wild celebrations back home in war-torn Iraq.

Iraqi captain Younis Mahmoud, a Sunni on a team dominated by Shi'ites, scored the game's only goal in the 71st minute on a header off a corner from Hawar Mulla Mohammed.

Iraq dominated the game, shutting down the Saudis, who entered the final with the tournament's best offensive record.

Ecstatic Iraqis ignored a fatwa, or religious edict, by Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, before the match against firing weapons into the air.

Police in Baghdad and Kut reported at least seven deaths and more than 50 people wounded by stray bullets.

There were no reports of major bomb strikes targeting fans as took place on Wednesday when suicide bombers killed 50 people after Iraq beat South Korea in the semifinals.

ASIAN CUP CHAMPIONS
1956 - South Korea
1960 - South Korea
1964 - Israel
1968 - Iran
1972 - Iran
1976 - Iran
1980 - Kuwait
1984 - Saudi Arabia
1988 - Saudi Arabia
1992 - Japan
1996 - Saudi Arabia
2000 - Japan
2004 - Japan
2007 - Iraq

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