Iraq League Wrap: Violence Mars Arbil's Opening Day Victory

It wasn't the best of starts to the new season...
Read's Iraq Premier League season preview here...

An opening league victory for Iraqi champions Arbil over Zakho was marred by violence between the local police and visiting fans at the Franso Hariri Stadium on Saturday.

With the score at 2-0 to the home side, and the match seemingly won, the game was halted when fighting broke between the local police and a small group of Zakho fans.

Referee Mohanad Qasim stopped play in the 82nd minute when spectators had to carry an injured fan across the field to receive medical treatment.

According to reports from the stadium, a policeman had fired a round of bullets to disperse the spectators after a handful of rival fans had fought with police.

One fan was wounded and taken by ambulance to the nearest hospital.

Arbil had opened the scoring with a header from Muslim Mubarak in the 76th minute.

The talented number ten added a second five minutes later with a stunning strike from all of 30 yards.

The home side scored two more goals through substitute Loay Salah and Hulgard Mulla Mohammed in the nine minutes of injury time added on by the referee.

In the day's other two matches, Kirkuk managed a 1-1 draw with Al-Kahraba, while city rivals Maysan and Naft Maysan played out the same result.

Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya and Al-Zawraa kicked off the new 2009-2010 season on Wednesday at the Al-Jawiya stadium.

The home side won the game with a ninth minute strike from Amjad Radhi.

Newly promoted Al-Sharqat gained a point against Nadi Baghdad with a goal only two minutes from time from Rafah Khalaf, after Ali Mansour had given the Baghdad club the lead after the hour mark.

Ten-man Duhok had defender Jassim Mohammed Haji to thank for all three points in their match with city rivals Pires.

Al-Shurta could only manage a 0-0 stalemate with Al-Hudoud.

In the Najaf derby, Al-Najaf beat Al-Kufa 2-0 with a strike from Faris Hassoun in the 80th minute, and a penalty from new recruit Qais Tariq only three minutes from the end.

In other results, Al-Sinaa beat Al-Bareed 2-1, Al-Talaba drew 1-1 with Al-Minaa, Karbala beat Al-Nafat 1-0.

Diyala were defeated with a 74 minute goal from Uday Salih that gave Samarra victory, while Nafat Al-Janoub (South Oil Club) managed a 2-1 victory over Al-Diwaniya.

The most surprising result of the opening day matches, was league newcomers Al-Hassanin’s away day victory over Samawa at the Samawa Olympic stadium.

Ali Mohammed Ali converted a 58th minute penalty to give the visitors the spoils. The Baghdad based club, founded in 1994 and situated in Al-Sadr City, were promoted to the top tier of the Iraqi league for the first time in their history.

Hassanin Mubarak