THESSALONIKI, Greece, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- Iraq fell short in its bid for an Olympic medal Friday night, losing the soccer third-place game to Italy, 1-0.
The Iraqis had shocking success just to make it out of the first round and they were looking for only the second medal ever for their country at the Olympics.
Abdul Wahid Aziz won a bronze medal in weightlifting during the 1960 Games. But Alberto Gilardino's goal in the first half for Italy was too much for Iraq to overcome.
A medal looked possible for Iraq after it won its first two matches of the competition to earn a spot in the quarterfinals.
The Iraqis then edged Australia. But losses to Paraguay and Italy ended medal hopes.
Italy, meanwhile, won just its third Olympic soccer medal and its first since claiming the gold in 1936. Italy has played for Olympic soccer matches (57) than any other nation.