ERBIL: The Iraqi National Futsal team, dominated by Kurds, were crowned champions of West Asian Football Federation’s (WAFF) major Futsal championship for women on Friday, with a Kurdish player finishing as the tournament’s top goal scorer. A total of six teams participated in the WAFF’s Women’s Futsal Championship for 2022, which was held from June 16 to June 24 in Saudi Arabia.
The Iraqi team beat their Saudi counterpart in the final – winning the tournament after a 4-2 victory over the host country’s national team. The Iraqi team’s campaign in the tournament began with a rocky start, losing 1-0 to Bahrain in the first match, but they were able to come out victorious in their following matches on its way to the final, including a staggering 12-0 win over Kuwait in the semi-final.
Nine of the 14 players of the Iraqi squad are Kurds, including the championship’s top goal scorer, Shokhan Salihi, who scored seven goals throughout the tournament. The Kurdish women were essential to Iraq’s success in the tournament, especially leaving their mark in the final, which saw Salihi score two, and fellow Kurdish player Direen Mullabakar score one out of Iraq’s four goals. This is the first time Iraq’s women have been crowned champions of the Asian cup. The Iranian team had won the previous two of the tournament in 2008 and 2012. Shokhan Salihi was awarded the tournament’s top goal scorer award in Saudi Arabia.
Kuwait men book semis
In another development, Kuwait national Futsal team for men qualified for the semifinals at the 2022 Arab Futsal Championship after defeating their Palestinian counterpart through penalty shootout 4-1 after the match ended in a 4-4 draw in Saudi Arabia’s Dammam city on Friday. The Palestinian team managed to end the first half of the match 3-2, as both teams continued to the second half until the end of the match with a tie of 4-4. The teams decided on penalty kicks to decide the winner which ended with Kuwait beating them 4-1.
Kuwait’s team player Saleh Al-Fadil won the award for player of the match. In another development, the Moroccan team qualified for the semifinals after beating Libya 3-0, while Egypt qualified for the same round by defeating Mauritania 3-2. Iraqi team were also able to go to the semifinals after their victory over Saudi Arabia 3-2. The Kuwait team will meet their Iraqi counterpart in the semifinals on Sunday, while the Moroccan team will face their Egyptian counterpart to determine the final which is due on June 28. – Agencies