ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Erbil Sports Club took all three points after their late 1-0 win against Al-Minaa in the Iraqi Premier League on Tuesday at the Franso Hariri Stadium.
After a goalless first half, Erbil’s Barzan Sherzad Rashid bundled the ball home in the 80th minute to secure the win for the home side.
Al-Minaa claimed the goal should have been disallowed as Rashid appeared to foul their goalkeeper as he tried to catch the ball before it crossed the line. Their calls, however, fell on deaf ears as the referee refused to overturn his decision.
Erbil remains in the top half of the Iraqi Premier League table, in ninth place with 19 points (5W-4D-6L).
Their next match is away to second-placed team Al-Karkh on Feb. 10.
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 where 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