Thu, 28 Oct, 2021
Doha: History was made at the AFC Cup 2016 final on Saturday when Air Force Club became the first club from Iraq to capture the coveted continental club competition. Hammadi Ahmed scored the only goal of the game in the 70th minute to seal Air Force Club’s 1-0 win over India’s JSW Bengaluru in the 2016 final at the Suhaim Bin Hamad Stadium.
In congratulating the Baghdad based club for winning the AFC Cup crown, AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said: “This is a landmark achievement by Air Force Club in winning the 2016 AFC Cup.
“Air Force Club’s triumph is truly a proud moment for the club and their fans and serves as a testament to the great progress Iraqi football continues to make in the continent. It exemplifies the work undertaken by the Iraqi Football Association.”
He continued: “Once again, the AFC Cup 2016 has captured the imagination of a large section of Asia with teams producing some fine and memorable displays. The performances and valiant efforts by all the participating teams should also be acknowledged.
‘We must recognise the contribution made by the 23 Member Associations and their clubs who have invested time and effort, not only to enhance the quality of the competition, but also to actively engage with fans from across the continent.”
Shaikh Salman also thanked the Qatar Football Association for providing the venue for the final, and said: “The QFA and the Qatar Sports Club deserve a great deal of credit for providing a home ground for the Air Force Club. We are grateful to their efforts and everyone involved in the final – including our commercial and broadcast partners.’
Air Force Club, who are only the second Iraqi club in history to make the AFC Cup final, made their debut in the competition this season. On the way to their final, Air Force Club won eight games, drawn twice and lost once.
The Iraqi club scored an impressive 27 goals throughout the competition with striker Hammadi Ahmed, who scored the vital winner on Saturday’s final, netting 16 goals, eight more than his closest rivals to win the competition’s Most Valuable Player and Golden Boot awards.