Iraq played their first competitive fixture on home soil in eight years on Thursday as they beat Hong Kong 2-0 in a World Cup qualifier in Basra.
The country had been banned by FIFA since 2011 from hosting matches other than friendlies because of security concerns. But the ban was lifted last year and Iraq made sure it was a winning return to Basra’s 65,000-seater stadium. Mohanad Ali opened the scoring before Ali Adnan added a penalty. Iraq has played its competitive home matches in Iran, Jordan or Doha since 2011 but they can now play competitive games in stadiums in Basra, Karbala and Erbil.