Iraq victorious in Melbourne Asian Cup

In a thrilling encounter Iraq defeated Australia 4-2 to win the grand final of the inaugural Melbourne Asian Cup held at AAMI Park as the curtain raiser before the Melbourne Victory and Central Coast Mariners game on Friday March 7, 2014.

In a thrilling encounter Iraq defeated Australia 4-2 to win the grand final of the inaugural Melbourne Asian Cup held at AAMI Park as the curtain raiser before the Melbourne Victory and Central Coast Mariners game on Friday March 7, 2014.

Iraq started strongly with Maher Nissan scoring twice in the first 15 minutes but Australia replied after 22 minutes through Maurcio Cazan.

Iraq regained the momentum with a goal to Mark Korsh just before half time to give Iraq a 3-1 lead at the break.

Australia's Finn Nielsen scored immediately after the break and the game was in balance until Iraq's Christopher Oghanna put the result beyond doubt for a 4-2 final result that left the Iraqi fan contingent dancing in the stands.

The Man of the match was awarded Iraq's number 10 Christopher Oghanna and the tournament Golden Boot award went to Hong Kong's number 10 Yee Fong (Vito) Kwok.

The inaugural Melbourne Asian Cup was organised by the Melbourne Chinese Soccer Association with support from Melbourne Victory FC, Football Federation Victoria and the AFC Asian Cup 2015.

Ken Lam, President of the Melbourne Chinese Soccer Association said "The grand final featured an exciting game, passionate crowds and was played in excellent spirit. Congratulations to the inaugural champions Iraq and thanks to our volunteers and partners for a wonderful event."

Iraq captain Denis Sadik said "We would like to congratulate Australia for being a worthy opponent and to the organisers for allowing us this opportunity"

"A big thanks to our fans who got behind us from the first game and thanks to my team for playing so well on the big stage. ." Mr Sadik added.

Australia captain Lachlan Lazaric said "Congratulations to Iraq for a thoroughly deserved victory. Thanks to our players and fans and thanks to the organisers for giving us this opportunity to play together."

Ian Robson, CEO of Melbourne Victory said “The Melbourne Asian Cup was a fantastic tournament to showcase the footballing talent that exists within the Asian communities in Melbourne. The final held at AAMI Park was a great example of this, and it was well supported by their communities. We look forward to developing our partnership with the Melbourne Chinese Soccer Association and further engaging the communities ahead of the Asian Cup in 2015.

Mitchell Murphy, CEO of Football Federation Victoria said “It was a pleasure to watch the grand final. The game was played in a great spirit and I extend my congratulations to Iraq for their victory and also pay tribute to the MCSA for all its hard work in organising the tournament.”

Michael Brown, CEO of the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 said "What an amazing journey it has been for the Australian Iraqi community, first qualifying for the Asian Cup in 2015 and now champions of the Melbourne Asian Community Cup,"

“Congratulations to the teams and organisers for a wonderful event.”

Melbourne Asian Community Cup Grand Final: Iraq 4 (Nissan 10', 12', Korsh 27', Oghanna 41') Australia 2 (Cazon 22', Nielsen 32')