ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Erbil Sports Club’s three-match unbeaten run ended on Tuesday after their 2-1 loss to Naft Al-Wassat in the Iraqi Premier League.
The Najaf-based club opened the scoring in the 28th minute through Thu Alfeqar Aaied before Erbil’s Miran Khesro equalized three minutes later.
Despite their efforts in the second half, Erbil lost the match when Amir Hamed put Naft Al-Wassat in front on 75 minutes.
The win moves Naft Al-Wassat (6W-6D-5L) to eighth place on 24 points, one spot and one point ahead of Erbil (6W-5D-7L) who remain in ninth with 23 points.
The Kurdish club’s next match is at home against third-placed Al-Zawraa (10W-5D-1L) on Feb. 24 at the Franso Hariri Stadium in the Kurdistan Region's capital.
One of the league’s most successful football clubs, Erbil withdrew from Iraq’s Premier League during the 2016-17 season due to financial issues.
They have been crowned Iraqi Premier League champions four times, most recently in the 2011-12 season, when they only lost one match.
Erbil is also the first club from the Iraqi league to qualify for continental club tournaments. In 2008, they qualified for the Asian Champions League but failed to progress from the group stage.
However, in Asia’s second-tier continental tournament, the AFC Cup, Erbil have finished runners-up on two occasions, in 2012 and 2014.
Editing by John J. Catherine