Coach Igor Stimac Accuses Referee Of ‘Robbing’ India’s Winning
The King’s Cup is a prestigious international football tournament held annually in Thailand. India faced Iraq in the semi-final of the 2023 King’s Cup in football.
India took the lead twice during the game, with Manvir scoring a goal in the first half and an own goal by the Iraqi goalkeeper in the second half. However, Iraq managed to equalize both times through penalty kicks.
The match ended in a 2-2 draw, and since there is no extra time in the King’s Cup, it went straight to a penalty shootout.
Unfortunately for India, they lost the shootout 5-4, with Brandon Fernandes missing the first penalty.
Despite the loss, India put up a strong performance and matched Iraq, a team ranked much higher in the world rankings.
Notably, Iraq was reduced to 10 players in the dying moments of the game when Zidane Iqbal received a red card for a foul on Brandon Fernandes.
Iraq will advance to the final of the King’s Cup, where they will face either Lebanon or Thailand, while India will play in the third-place match.
This performance by India reflects their continued progress in international football, especially considering they faced a tough opponent like Iraq.
Indian football team coach Igor Stimac expressed frustration and accused the referee of “robbing” his team’s victory in the King’s Cup semi final against Iraq.
India, playing without their star player Sunil Chhetri, conceded a late goal from a controversial penalty, ultimately losing to Iraq in a penalty shootout.
Stimac took to social media to praise his team’s performance and mentioned that despite the controversial decisions made by referees, there will come a time when his team will overcome such challenges and win games.
The match ended in a 2-2 draw in regular time, with Iraq prevailing in the penalty shootout to advance to the King’s Cup final against Thailand. India will play against Lebanon in the bronze-medal playoff.
The controversy stemmed from a soft penalty awarded to Iraq in the 79th minute, which allowed them to equalize at 2-2. Aymen Ghadhban scored the penalty. The defeat ended India’s impressive unbeaten streak of 12 matches, marking their first loss of the year.