Champions Al-Zawraa came back from two-nil down to claim a point against Al-Naft in a thrilling game played at the Al-Shaab.
Al-Naft shocked the White Seagulls with two first half goals from Mazin Fayadh and Mohammed Dawud. However Mohanad Abdul-Rahim scored after an hour, before Alaa Abbas grabbed the equaliser on 81 minutes.
Al-Zawraa who won a record 14th league title last season, could have returned to the top of the table with a victory. A win for Al-Naft could have seen them move up to sixth with a game in hand on the rest of the top five.
Hassan Ahmed’s side had given the champions a lesson in counter-attacking football as they cut through the Al-Zawraa defence to go two up after 22 minutes.
After just five minutes a move started by Mazin Fayadh was ended by the unmarked Al-Naft winger who side-footed on the volley past Jalal Hassan after receiving the ball from Bassam Shaker on the left.
Seventeen minutes later Al-Naft won a corner with Mazin Fayadh this time the provider. His corner was tapped in from Mohammed Dawud from an almost identical position after the ball went straight through the Al-Zawraa defence to the unmarked youngster.
Al-Zawraa searched for a goal to get back into the game and scored after 60 minutes when keeper Ali Yasin was unable to hold Alaa Abbas’s drive on the edge of the box and Mohanad Abdul-Rahim was there to tap-in the rebound for his fourth of the season.
Then nine minutes from time Alaa Abbas scored after hammering in Syrian Hussein Juwaid’s cutback from the right, to complete a dramatic comeback.
Al-Zawraa 2-2 Al-Naft
Mohanad Abdul-Rahim 60, Alaa Abbas 81; Mazin Fayadh 5, Mohammed Dawud 22
Al-Zawraa: 12 Jalal Hassan; 2 Mustafa Mohammed, 16 Samal Saeed [c], 29 Abbas Qasim, 23 Hamza Adnan (33 Hussein Hakim 56’); 5 Safaa Hadi, 6 Mohammed Ridha (11 Ahmed Jalal 70’), 25 Ali Rahim (3 Hussein Juwaid 78′), 17 Jabar Karim, 8 Mohanad Abdul-Rahim, 9 Alaa Abbas.
COACH: Ayoub Odisho
Al-Naft: 31 Ali Yasin; 6 Ahmed Abdul-Majeed [c], 26 Baha-Al-Deen Jamil (3 Burhan Jumaa 82′), 5 Mohammed Maan, 22 Essam Yasin, 25 Bashar Saadoun, 15 Laith Tahsin, 11 Bassam Shaker (7 Mustafa Ali 70’), 27 Walid Karim (2 Raad Fanar 65′), 29 Mohammed Dawud, 14 Mazin Fayadh.
COACH: Hassan Ahmed
Referee: Ali Sabah
Cautions: Jabar Karim 10′, Abbas Qasim 44′, Baha-Al-Deen Jamil 48′, Hussein Hakim 66′, Mohammed Dawud 85′.