ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdish footballer Jiloan Hamad scored a goal on his debut to rescue a point for new team HNK Gorica in Croatia’s top division.
Hamad completed his move to the Croatian club on Aug.14, starting his first match on Sunday against Istra 1961.
Gorica trailed their opponents following an early first-half goal by Peter Bosančić. However, the Kurdish footballer struck the equalizer moments after the start of the second half to level the scores at 1-1 and prevent his team from losing.
Gorica (2-2-2) are currently fifth in the Croatian First Football League.
The club’s next match is against Zagorec in the preliminary round of the Croatian Cup on Aug. 28 at 8 p.m. Erbil time.
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Hamad’s move to Gorica came after he terminated his contract with South Korean club Incheon United in July after only six months of a two-year deal he signed in January 2019.
He made 11 appearances and scored one goal for the South Korean side.
He began his football career in 2006 when he signed for local club BK Forward in Sweden. The Kurdish athlete would go on to play for Malmö FF, making 127 appearances and scoring 22 goals.
In 2014, Hamad signed for German club 1899 Hoffenheim, during which he spent a couple of seasons out on loan to the club’s division two side before a loan move to Standard Liège in Belgium.
In 2017, the Kurdish footballer returned to Sweden and spent two seasons with Hammarby, making 54 appearances in total and scoring 15 goals.
He also played a significant part in the club’s 2018 Allsvenskan season, helping his team finish in fourth place, narrowly missing out on UEFA Europa League qualification.
Hamad has represented the Swedish national team eight times at senior level. However, he was not in the squad which traveled to Russia for the 2018 World Cup.
The 28-year-old footballer was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, but his family originates from Ranya, in the Kurdistan Region’s province of Sulaimani.