Erbil FC ends AFC Cup runners up
Goalkeeper Nawaf Al Khaldi was the hero for Al Qadsia as they beat Erbil 4-2 in a penalty shoot-out to win the AFC Cup on Saturday.
In front of a sparse crowd at Dubai's Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium, the two finalists could not find a breakthrough in 120 minutes.
Al Qadsia, last season's runners-up, ultimately prevailed on spot-kicks, ensuring Asian football's secondary club competition was claimed by a Kuwaiti side for the third successive season.
With both sides having missed one penalty apiece, the turning point in the shoot-out came when Al Khaldi kept out Erbil defender Ali Faez Atiyah's attempt from 12 yards.
That miss kept Al Qadsia 3-2 ahead and provided attacker Danijel Subotic with the chance to seal glory for the reigning Kuwaiti Premier League champions.
The Croatian made no mistake as he coolly slotted home to spark jubilant scenes among the Al Qa- dsia players and condemn their Iraqi opponents to a heart-breaking defeat.
Erbil, the Kurdish football club, took on Kuwait's Qadsia in the final of the AFC Cup. The match should've been played in Iraq but has been moved to Dubai due to security concerns.
Erbil's journey to the final has been impressive given the fact that they have been forced to play away from home due to the situation in Iraq.
Players from Kuwait's Qadsia SC celebrate after winning the 2014 AFC Cup