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Iraqi Olympic Soccer Team Upsets Portugal

12 August 2004 -- Iraq defeated Portugal 4-2 in their opening game of the Olympic men's soccer tournament.

Iraq was a huge underdog against Portugal, which finished second in last month's European Championships and is one of the strongest teams in Athens.

Portugal took the lead in the 12th minute in Patras thanks to an own goal. Iraq hit back and took a 2-1 lead, only for Portugal to equalize just before halftime.

But Iraq, forced to share training grounds with grazing sheep in Iraq, again demonstrated their resilience by scoring the go-ahead goal five minutes after Portugal was reduced to 10 players after a player was sent off with a red card.

The men's Olympic soccer is an under-23 tournament with three over-age players permitted per team.


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