In one of the weirder aspects of life, sporting events can cause mild stabs of unmistakable physical pain ... to their viewers.
It is too true, and it happened again last evening at Al Sadd Stadium, that twinge from somewhere amid the solar plexus and the celiac trunk and the superior mesenteric artery, which is not to rule out the crura of the diaphragm.
The eyeballs saw Iraqi football players bent over in utter, exhausted distress after 117 minutes of captivating fight in an Asian Cup quarter-final gave way to a goal out of nowhere and one giddy bunch of Australians mobbing a shirtless Harry Kewell.
Boom, there went that little ache again, somewhere near the lumbar vertebra.
One week it hits the UAE, when 90 goalless minutes of exertion yield to the mean craziness of an own goal against Iraq, and another week it smacks Iraq, when 117 minutes of somehow rebuffing flurry upon flurry of Aussie thrusts in the goalless first 90 seem to have succeeded.
The whole thing seemed to be heading for penalties with both teams and the audience spent.
Then, with the ball bouncing around midfield, Matt McKay hits a long ball from out yonder, some sort of looping wish, perhaps.
But no, wait, Kewell comes steaming in between the fresh Ahmed Ibrahim, a 75th-minute substitute, and the stalwart Basem Abbas, who along with teammate Ali Erhaima left an imprint of colossal effort upon the match.
Kewell uses his head, plucks the ball past a lunging (and excellent) Mohammed Kassid, and you mean that thing is going in? The whole high-calibre slog is going to be decided by this?
It gets you somewhere in there near the abdominal aorta.
I confess. I consider Iraq's title in the 2007 Asian Cup the greatest sporting achievement of the nascent 21st century, and I expect it to hold up as a rival for the honour after we all have gone through nine more decades of all the various competitions.
No team in my knowledge ever wrung such heights from such tragic disruption, and it would not have ranked among the worst things in the world to see the uplift sustained toward the close of another Asian Cup.
That did look possible even after Australia clearly, consciously upgraded their focus from their first tournament, in 2007, that included a 3-1 loss to Iraq in Group A.
Their intent upheld their grand expectations and the match congealed into a compelling duel.
Ambitious Australia churned repeatedly toward the Iraqi goal especially after half time, making the match seem a protracted string of Australian corner kicks. (The corner tally wound up 16-6.) Then for a time, it seemed that Iraq had built that imaginary gate that sometimes guards goals. Somehow, though, in that curious way, Australia's flurries also managed to flatter Iraq.
The 25-year-old Erhaima in particular looked like a giant, often solving crises and directing matters with two of the game's more intense eyes. Abbas added influence with his thick strength. It became absorbing to watch defence when usually defence exists merely to ruin all the fun.
If any mystery remained on just how Iraq pulled off such a feat in 2007, it ebbed further through this. The fight, the esprit de corps, the will, the grit opposite more famous players, all of that stuff that impresses humans ... it all flowered again.
Australia seemed to deflate. Their supporters grew quieter. Maybe Iraq had ground them into submission. Maybe defence was about win over attack.
Then, the ball, in midfield. The whole thing waning. And.
"We did everything," said Iraq's German manager, Wolfgang Sidka. "At the end we have nothing in our hands."
Watch something like that, and you might end up feeling it somewhere around the celiac trunk.
Asian Cup coverage, s12