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The New Arab

Iraqi football club 90 minutes away from making history

Baghdad's Al-Jawiya football club is the oldest in the country [Getty]

Date of publication: 5 November, 2016

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The oldest football club in Iraq will be hoping to make a historic victory as they take on India's Bengaluru FC in the Asian Football Confederation final on Saturday.
A football club from Baghdad could make history for Iraq on Saturday in Doha, as the country continues to go through some of its darkest days with fighting engulfing Mosul.

Al-Jawiya, Iraq's oldest club, will take on India's Bengaluru FC in the final of the Asian Football Confederation [AFC] Cup. If they win, they will be the first Iraqi club to be crowned champions of one of Asian football's most pretigious trophies.

The team - nicknamed the al-Saqour (The Falcons) - will be hoping past disappointments won't hinder their chances of returning home with the coveted silverware.

In the 45 years of the competition, five Iraqi clubs have reached the AFC final but stumbled at the last hurdle.

Founded in 1931, al-Quwa al-Jawiya, or the Air Force Club, is the oldest in the country and has a 10,000 capacity stadium in the capital, near Falastin Street.

While it has had domestic success in Iraq's premier league, it is the only of four Baghdad clubs not to achieve a major victory on the international stage.

But with leading AFC Cup scorer "Hitman" Hammadi Ahmed on their side, tonight could be the night.

The match kicks off at 4pm GMT at the Suheim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha.



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