The first Kuwaiti sports team to play in Iraq since Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion celebrated its return with a victory – and basking in goodwill from Iraqi fans.
Kuwait Sports Club defeated Irbil 1-0 Wednesday to win the two-leg series in the AFC Cup quarterfinals. The first leg ended in a 1-1 draw in Kuwait.
The fans in the sold-out stadium in Iraq’s northern Kurdish region heaped cheers on the visiting team and some waved Kuwaiti flags.
Kuwaiti club president Abdul Aziz al-Anberi called the reception “unbelievable.”
The Iraqi army was driven from Kuwait in 1991 by U.S.-led forces and Kuwait restored diplomatic ties after Saddam’s fall in 2003. But it still demands war reparations from Iraq.