Previous
Cagliari
AC Milan
2
1
FT
Game Details
Sampdoria
Napoli
4:00 PM UTC
Game Details
Internazionale
Udinese
6:45 PM UTC
Game Details
Lorient
Troyes
7:00 PM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 2
Game Details
Hamilton Academical
Dundee United
0
0
LIVE 61'
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
FC Utrecht
AZ Alkmaar
(4) 3
(3) 0
FT-Pens
Leg 2Aggregate: 3 - 3
Game Details
Atlanta United FC
New York City FC
9:00 PM UTC
Game Details
FC Dallas
Houston Dynamo
12:00 AM UTC May 29, 2017
Game Details
Guadalajara
U.A.N.L
11:06 PM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 2
Game Details
Next

U20 WC: 10-man U.S. reach knockouts

U-20 World Cup
Read

Senegal through but lose pair to suspension

Read
By ESPN Staff

Iraq beat Palestine 4-0 in return to Baghdad

Iraq's national soccer team beat Palestine 4-0 on Monday in their first international match in Baghdad since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

Baghdad's Shaab stadium, which seats about 45,000 people, was full to bursting point with jubilant Iraqis waving flags and cheering on their national side, although few Palestinians made it to the game.

Some fans sat next to the goals at both ends of the pitch until Iraqi security forces cleared them away.

Iraq hopes to convince FIFA the country is safe enough to host official soccer matches again.

"I am so happy!" shouted Jabbar Qassim, 21, shortly after performing a break dance with his friend to an amused crowd. "Mark my words: I will come to every match the Iraqi football team plays in Baghdad forever."

The country hosted on Friday its first match since the war in the northern Kurdish city of Arbil. Iraq also beat Palestine in that match, 3-0.

FIFA, soccer's world governing body, approved both games, but has yet to lift a general ban on Iraq hosting matches.

"We have waited more than six years for this," said Nasser al-Shimari, 37, who brought his family. "It's great to see our team live. Now we feel like any other country in the world."

One family came from Basra 420 kilometres (260 miles) by car.

Nadhim Shakir, who replaced Bora Milutinovic as Iraq's coach after the team were knocked out of the Confederations Cup last month, hopes Iraq can soon host other internationals.

Iraqi soccer players, like many Iraqi athletes, have sometimes been targeted by militants and criminals.

In March 2008, gunmen killed a local team coach and ex-footballer Munther Khalaf outside his home. An Iraqi soccer fan shot dead a player of an opposing local team during a match in March 2009 in the town of Hilla, south of Baghdad.

"The message is clear: the audience is showing there is security in Baghdad," said Najeh Ihmoud, deputy head of the Iraqi Football Federation. "They are sending a message to the international union to lift the ban on Iraqi sport."

Iraqis love football. Their team were the surprise winners of the 2007 Asian Cup. The victory brought rare unity to nation riven by sectarian war, with Shi'ites, Sunnis and Kurds pouring onto the streets to celebrate a 1-0 win over Saudi Arabia.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.