Iraq beats North Korea in friendly

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS - By Zakaria Muhammed

Pre­par­ing for the Asian qual­i­fy­ing cup, the Iraqi na­tional Foot­ball Team played a friendly against North Korea. The match was played in the United Arab Emi­rates on Fe­bru­ary 21 and Iraq beat North Korea 2-0.

The first goal was scored by Mustafa Nad­him in the first half of the match, while the mid­fielder Muhanned Ab­dul Rahim added an­other goal in the sec­ond half.

The Iraqi team played in white jer­seys while the North Korean team played in red.

The match was part of Iraq’s prepa­ra­tions for its de­ci­sive qual­i­fier on March 5 against China for the Aus­tralia 2015 Asian Cup.

The Iraqi man­ager, Ha­keem Shaker, called 27 play­ers for the friendly match in or­der to as­sess their skill and iden­tify the main squad and sub­sti­tutes.

The play­ers who were sum­moned by the head coach were Jalal Has­san, Muham­mad Hameed, Alla Katie, Ali Yaseen, Mahdi Ka­reem, Zargham Ismail, Ali Bah­jat, Muham­mad Ab­dulZahra, Mustafa Nazim, Muham­mad Ra­bat, Ali Husni, Hal­gurt Mul­lah Muham­mad, Saif Sal­man, Ali Hus­sein Ri­hema, Mahdi Kamil, Am­jad Kalaf, Kar­rar Jas­sim, Ali Faez, Ham­madi Ah­mad, Muhan­nad Ab­dul­rahim, Alaa Ab­dulZahra, Mar­wan Hus­sein, You­nis Mah­mud, Faisal Jas­sim, Ah­mad Ab­bas, Ah­mad Ibrahim, and Salam Shaker.

Five fa­mous foot­ballers, who were in the squad for the pre­vi­ous matches, were left out of the team for the friendly match against North Korea. The banned play­ers were Hay­dar Raad, Waleed Salim, Hu­mam Tariq, Saad Ab­dulAmeer, and Mustafa Ah­mad.

Iraqi foot­ball en­joyed a resur­gence in 2013, a year that started with the se­nior na­tional side reach­ing the fi­nal of the Gulf Cup in Bahrain in Jan­uary, and con­tin­ued with the coun­try’s young­sters fin­ish­ing fourth at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey, their best re­sult in four ap­pear­ances in the com­pe­ti­tion.

Both per­for­mances bear the hall­mark of one man: Iraq’s na­tional coach, Hakim Shaker, who was the se­nior’s side care­taker boss at the Gulf Cup and took charge of the U-20s in Turkey. Just for good mea­sure, the 50-year-old will also lead the na­tion’s Olympic team to next year’s AFC U-22 Asian Cup in Oman. Now Iraq’s aim is to win the Asian Cup for the sec­ond time af­ter its vic­tory in 2007.

Iraqi coach, Ha­keem Shakir gives in­struc­tions to his play­ers dur­ing the AFC U-22 Cham­pi­onship at Seeb Sports Com­plex on Jan­uary 20, 2014 in Mus­cat.

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