Heartbreaking Penalty Shootout Loss! India’s Thrilling Battle Against Iraq in King’s Cup 2023 Semi-Finals

King’s Cup 2023: The Indian men’s football team faced a heartbreaking defeat in the semi-finals of the King’s Cup 2023 football tournament, losing to Iraq in a penalty shootout.

kings cup 2023 india and iraq
The Match Outcome

Penalty Shootout: India lost 5-4 to Iraq in a penalty shootout after the semi-final match ended 2-2 in regulation time.

Match Details
  • Venue: 700th Anniversary Stadium, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
  • Date: September 6th, 2023 Thursday.
  • India Takes the Lead: Naorem Mahesh (17′) scored the opening goal for India.
  • Own Goal Levels the Score: Jalal Hassan Hachim’s goal (51′) brought Iraq level.
  • Iraq Takes the Lead: Ali Al-Hamadi (28′) scored for Iraq.
  • Late Equalizer: Aymen Hussein (80′) secured the equalizer for Iraq.

Indian Team

  • Absence of Sunil Chhetri: India played without their star player, Sunil Chhetri, who opted out of the squad for personal reasons.
  • Defensive Strategy: India initially adopted a deep defensive strategy, looking to counter-attack.
  • Veteran Leadership: Veteran center-back Sandesh Jinghan led the Indian defence, displaying resilience against Iraq’s attacks.
Match Highlights
  • Surprising Lead: India took a 1-0 lead against the run of play in the first half through Naorem Mahesh.
  • Iraq’s Equalizer: Iraq equalized via a penalty, with Ali Al-Hamadi (28′) converting the spot-kick.
  • Half-time Scores: The first half ended with both teams level at 1-1.
  • India’s Second Goal: Early in the second half, India regained the lead when Iraqi goalkeeper Jalal Hassan Hachem conceded an own goal.
  • Iraq’s Late Equalizer: Aymen Hussein (80′) scored from the penalty spot to make it 2-2.
  • Late Drama: Iraq’s Zidane Iqbal received a red card, giving India a numerical advantage in the dying moments, but they couldn’t capitalize.
Penalty Shootout

Brandon Fernandes missed a crucial penalty, hitting the post.

  • Third-Place Play-off: India will compete for third place against the losing semi-finalists from the match between hosts Thailand and Lebanon.
  • Past Success: India won a bronze medal in the King’s Cup in 2019, defeating Thailand 1-0 in the third-place match after losing to Curacao in the semi-finals.