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Newz Forum: SOCCER: Iraq returns to major competition at Asian Cup

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TRD

posted on Jul, 18 2004 @ 05:36 PM
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China (AP) - Iraq returned to a major competition for the first time since the U.S. led invasion a year ago, losing to Uzbekistan 1-0 despite a second-half surge in the Asian Cup opener for both teams.
 

Mirdjalal Kasimov scored the lone goal on a free kick in the 22nd minute that put Uzbekistan atop Group C.

In other games, Turkmenistan tied three-time champion Saudi Arabia 2-2 and Indonesia beat Qatar 2-1.

Iraq's appearance comes two weeks after Germany's Bernd Strange resigned as coach. Under new coach Adnan Hamd, the team was surprisingly sharp with its passing and showed little sign of fatigue despite hampered training at home.

"To be honest, I think we played hard and played a good game," Hamd said. "Although we lost, I think we still have a chance."

Kasimov bent a kick over the Iraqi wall and past goalkeeper Ahmed Jaber. Uzbekistan dominated the rest of the half before a crowd of about 2,000 at newly built Longquanyi Stadium. Iraq dominated the second half, getting its best chance from Razzaq Farhan, who moved the ball the length of the field.

Both teams finished with 10 men. Uzbekistan defender Alexey Nikolaev was ejected in the 83rd minute for a second yellow card and Mohammed Emad was sent off for Iraq with a red card in the 87th.




posted on Jul, 18 2004 @ 08:59 PM
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I though FIFA decided that it wasn't safe for the game to be played on Iraq soil. I wonder how this is going to play out for the Iraq team only playing away games. It will be very interesting.
Do you think the players have lost their sense of national pride while playing for Iraq, or are they just playing for themselves? With a low morale I don't see the Iraq team going anywhere as far as a win is concerned.


TRD

posted on Jul, 19 2004 @ 01:35 PM
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They wasn't that great a side to start with, but i would have thought it would be good for morale. Getting back to some sort of normality and sport is a way of getting people working together again.



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