ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The Kurdistan national football team defeated United Koreans of Japan 3-0 in their final group match of the 2016 CONIFA World Football Cup in Abkhazia, Georgia.
The Kurdish national team looked to extend their unbeaten run in the tournament after defeating Székely Land 3-0 on Sunday.
The traveling Kurdish fans were in full voice as the players took part in several warm-up drills before kick-off. Just like the first match, the game was played at the Dinamo Stadium in Sukhumi, the capital of Abkhazia.
United Koreans of Japan, who also beat Székely Land, were looking for a victory against the Kurds. However, it was Kurdistan who opened the scoring in the first-half when Diyar Rahman netted after 27 minutes.
Kurdistan would add another goal before the end of the first half through Miran Khesro’s strike from the penalty spot to send the team into half-time with a two-goal lead.
The Kurds came out strong in the second-half and extended their lead after Hunar Ahmad scored with 73 minutes played. United Koreans of Japan could not find a way back in the game, and the Kurds defended strongly to complete a 3-0 victory.
Kurdistan will play Padania on June 2 in the quarterfinals of the tournament.
The last time the two teams met was at the 2014 CONIFA World Football Cup. Padania defeated the Kurds 4-3 on penalties after the scores were level at 1-1. As a result, Kurdistan finished sixth in the tournament.
The Confederation of Independent Football Associations (CONIFA) represents all football nations outside of FIFA, the governing body for football.
According to its official website, CONIFA is a “global acting non-profit organization that supports representatives of international football teams from nations, de facto nations, regions, minority peoples and sports isolated territories.”
CONIFA was founded on June 7, 2013, and held its first World Football Cup in June 2014 in Ostersund, Sweden.
Reporting by Karzan Sulaivany
Editing by Ava Homa