Wednesday, May 12, 2004
Iraq reinstated just three months ago
AMMAN, Jordan -- Iraq's soccer team qualified for the Athens
Olympics on Wednesday, less than three months after the country was
reinstated by the International Olympic Committee.
Iraq beat Saudi Arabia 3-1, and then clinched the third and
final Asian qualifying spot when Kuwait held Oman to a scoreless
Celebratory gunfire was heard in central Baghdad after the
match, and tracers zoomed across the sky.
"It's a crazy joy for us," Iraq defender Ahmed Alwan said.
"Despite all of the difficulties we faced, we still managed to
qualify for Athens and I believe that we deserve our place in the
Both Iraq and Oman finished Group C play with nine points, but
Iraq won based on goal difference.
Only one team qualifies from the group.