Preview: Confident after their impressive drawn game against the more fancied Mexico, Iraq would be high on self-belief to outwit Chile when the two sides cross swords in a Group F FIFA Under-17 World Cup encounter in Kolkata on Wednesday.
Defying odds such as strife and bloodshed and financial constraints, the Asian U-16 champions lived up to their billing in the continent with a spectacular display to hold two-time champions Mexico 1-1 in their opener on Sunday.
Star striker Mohammed Dawood, who struck for Iraq after a buccaneering solo run, could be the man to watch out for, the way he troubled the Mexican defenders throughout the game at the Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan.
He could pose a few problems for the Chile rearguard, which looked sloppy to say the least against England and have to play out of their skins to put a lid on him.
Having lost all their group matches in their only other appearance in the U-17 World Cup four years ago, the Iraqis got their first ever point in the tournament in the last game and that should be no less motivation going into this game.
It remains to be seen whether Muntadheer Mohammed is fit after taking a knock towards the dying minutes of the last game.
Coming to Chile, England were all over them and the South American U-17 Championship finalists could not register a single shot on target.
To add to their woes, goalkeeper Julio Borquez, adjudged best goalkeeper in the South American meet earlier this year, was sent off and will be missing this game.
"He is an important player and we will have to see who replaces him now," coach Hernan Caputto had said after the England game.
Caputto stressed on working with individual players as they looked out of sorts on Sunday and lacking in ideas.
The two teams haven't met before at this level.
With inputs from IANS
Iraq: Ali Ibadi, Mustafa Zuhair, Abdulazeez Ammar; Ammar Mohammed, Maytham Jabbar, Muntadher Mohammed, Muntadher Abdulsada, Abdulabbas Ayad, Mohammed Al-Baqer, Ali Raad; Habeeb Mohammed, Saif Khalid, Mohammed Ridha, Abbas Ali, Bassam Shakir, Mohammed Ali (Al Nagda), Moamel Karim, Ahmed Sartip; Mohammed Dawood, Ali Kareem, Alaa Adnaan
Chile: Julio Borquez, Rodrigo Cancino, Hugo Araya; Gaston Zuniga, Matias Silva, Lucas Alarcon, Sebastian Valencia, Nicolas Aravena, Yerco Oyanedel (Catholic University); Maximiliano Guerrero, Mauricio Morales, Martin Lara, Oliver Rojas, Branco Provoste; Diego Valencia, Pedro Campos; William Gama, Ignacio Contreras, Ignacio Mesias, Jairo Vasquez, Antonio Diaz O'Higgins
Published Date: Oct 11, 2017 07:45 pm | Updated Date: Oct 12, 2017 03:09 pm