The Kurdish Globe
By Zakaria Muhammed--Erbil
The final matches of the Kurdistan Premier Football League took place on March 31, and the clubs of Erbil province secured the five top spots of the league. Erbil FC played its last match of the Kurdistan League in a derby game against Brusk FC. The match saw strong attendance because both teams in this strong rivalry are from Erbil.
Although the team lost to Brusk 1-0, Erbil FC firmly stayed atop Kurdistan League with no worry from their rivals. The match was more crucial for Brusk because, after earning three points, it secured third place in the league with only two points behind the leaders, Erbil.
Brusk scored the opening goal in the 15th minute after Aram Fattah maneuvered between three Erbil defenders before beating Erbil goalkeeper from inside the area.
Erbil was close to equalize the result in the 30th minute as Ramiar Azad passed by Brusk's goalkeeper, Ghafur Othman, but his shot was saved by defender Muhammad Hamakhan.
Erbil started the second half with several attacks, but none of the attempts resulted in a score due to lack of concentration in firing the shots. Ramiar Azad stayed with Brusk's keeper Othman but his shot went over the bar. The goal bar saved Diyar Rahman shot the 52nd minute.
With its defensive style, Brusk had only a few attacks on the Erbil goal with Aram Fattah and Farman Haidar reaching Erbil's penalty area several times. For the last 30 minutes of the second half, both teams stayed in the middle of the field most of the time, giving fans no reason for excitement. Both teams calmed down and busied themselves with transferring and passing in the middle of the pitch. The match ended 1-0.
After the match, Erbil team coach Samir Babo said, "My players weren't excited to win the match since Erbil officially became the champions of the league in the previous match. I have to admit that Brusk was more organized, but what matters to us is we stayed champions despite the loss in the final round."
Meanwhile, Brusk team manager Bzahr Akram said, "We played a good game hoping to secure the second place of the league, but because Handren FC defeated Kirkuk FC in its last match, we placed third."
Brusk hd unsatisfying results at the beginning of the league, but the club found its footing after former coach Dilshad Marouf resigned and Akram was appointed in his place.
This season, 14 teams participated in the Kurdistan League, all of them from Kurdistan Region from the cities of Erbil, Duhok, Suleimaniya and Kirkuk. The teams were not drawn into groups. The league has one group, and all 14 clubs played each other twice on 26 occasions. Erbil became the champions after collecting 48 points, only two points ahead of Handren that placed second. Brusk, Peshmarga and Ararat, all based in Erbil province, placed third, fourth and fifth, one after the other.
According to Kurdistan Football Federation (KFF) secretary Salam Hussein, the best three teams will be awarded gold, silver and bronze medals in a ceremony that will possibly be held in mid April. In the ceremony, the best footballer, top scorer, goalkeeper and coach will also be announced and awarded with special gifts.
KFF recently appointed a new coaching staff for the Kurdistan Football Team, which will host the VIVA World Cup on June. "Footballers of clubs are being tested by the coaching staff. The awarding ceremony will better enable the coaching staff to identify the best squad for the Kurdistan team," Hussein noted.