2017 AFC Cup Final: Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya defended their title

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The 2017 AFC Cup Final was the final match of the 2017 AFC Cup, the 14th edition of the AFC Cup, a football competition organized by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) for clubs from ‘developing countries’ in Asia according to the Vision Asia plan.

The final was contested as a single match between Iraqi team Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya and Tajik team Istiklol. The match was hosted by Istiklol at the Hisor Central Stadium in Hisor on 4 November 2017.

This is the second time that an AFC Cup final is played in Tajikistan, with the previous final being 2015.

The final was played as a single match, with the host team decided by draw, which was held on 6 June 2017. If tied after regulation, extra time and, if necessary, penalty shoot-out was used to decide the winner.

Iraq’s Air Force Club were not the overwhelming favourites as they went into the final of the AFC Cup 2017 against FC Istiklol, partly because they had not been at their best during their run to the final and partly because the final was being held at Hisor, the home of the Tajik champions.

But after 90 minutes on Saturday night, it was indeed the Iraqi club who stood victorious after defending their title successfully.

Air Force club of Iraq
Air Force club of Iraq

And they had one man to thank for on the night – Emad Mohsin.

The Iraqi forward showed plenty of application throughout the night but the moment that mattered came in the 68th minute.

Hammadi Ahmed laid back Sameh Saeed’s cross from the right for Mohsin to emphatically finish from 12 yards for his third goal of the campaign and ensure his team became only the third team to defend the AFC Cup.

He was a threat for the Istiklol defenders throughout, winning at least half of the aerial duels he was involved in and winning all his tackles.