Iraq beats North Korea in friendly
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.