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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Iraq Men's National Soccer Team News

September 3, 2015 - Ahmed Yasin scores brace in win over Taiwan
"Iraq scored three times in the final ten minutes of their opening match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup/2019 AFC Asian Cup joint-qualifiers on Thursday as the 2007 AFC Asian Cup champions kicked-off their Group with an assured 5-1 win over Chinese Taipei. Ali Adnan, the 2013 AFC Youth Player of the Year, gave Iraq the lead with eight minutes of the first half remaining before Ali Hisny Faisal added to the Udinese left-back’s opener with Iraq’s second in the 59th minute. The Lions of Mesopotamia extended their lead in the 80th minute through Ahmed Yasin, who scored twice as Iraq reached the semi-finals of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, before Wen Chih-hao looked to have given the result a more flattering perspective for Chinese Taipei when the China-based midfielder got the East Asians on the scoreboard with four minutes left of the 90 remaining. However, the scoring didn’t end there as skipper Younis Mahmood, who netted the winner in Iraq’s 2007 AFC Asian Cup final victory over Saudi Arabia, restored his side’s three-goal advantage two minutes later before USA-born forward Justim Meram sealed the 5-1 win with a penalty one minute into stoppage time." - AFC

March 31, 2015 - Yaser Kasim scores in win over DR Congo
"Swindon Town midfielder Yaser Kasim got the only goal of the game as Iraq beat DR Congo 1-0 in an international friendly this afternoon. Kasim’s fine strike from the edge of the box in the second half was enough to clinch the win for his side." - Gazette & Herald

March 28, 2015 - Ahmed Ibrahim & Humam Tariq score in win over DR Congo
"The Iraqi Football team won its friendly match versus the Congo team (2-1) on Saturday within the training camp held inAjman city in the UAE within the preparations of the qualifiers of the World Cup 2018 and Asian Cup 2019 to start next June 11. The Iraqi team scored first at the fifth minute through a head ball by the defender Ahmed Ibrahim but the Congo player Jose Mioko equalized for his team from the penalty spot. Iraqi coach Ahmed Akram Salman made some changes in the Iraqi formation to participate in scoring the second goal for Iraq by the substitute Humam Tariq at 72nd minute of the match." - Iraqi News

January 23, 2015 - Iraq advances on penalty kicks over Iran
"Salam Shakir scored the winner as Iraq claimed a place in the semi-finals of the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 after edging out arch-rivals Iran 7-6 on penalties following a sensational 3-3 draw at Canberra Stadium on Friday. Sardar Azmoun had put Iran in front midway through the first-half but his side went into the break a man down after Mehrdad Pooladi was dismissed. Ahmed Yasin’s 56th minute equaliser then took the game to extra-time where Iraq twice went in front through Younus Mahmood and Dhurgham Ismail but they were pegged back by Morteza Pouraliganji and most dramatically Reza Ghoochannejhad two minutes from the end. But after Iran substitute Vahid Amiri drilled his penalty onto the left-hand upright, Shakir held his nerve to claim victory for Iraq and take them into Monday’s semi-final with Korea Republic at Stadium Australia in Sydney." - AFC

January 20, 2015 - Younus Mahmood & Ahmed Yasin score in win over Palestine
"Goals from Younus Mahmood and Ahmed Yasin led Iraq into the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 quarter-finals and a meeting with arch-rivals Iran, after a 2-0 victory against Palestine at Canberra Stadium on Tuesday night. Mahmood’s first goal in the tournament Down Under came on 48 minutes and was his seventh in AFC Asian Cup competitions, meaning he has now scored in four consecutive continental championships since he first appeared at the 2004 edition. Mahmood could have had a second just before the hour mark, too, but Palestine’s back-up goalkeeper Tawfiq Abduhammad, who put on an impressive show throughout in the absence of the injured Ramzi Saleh, saved the forward’s spot-kick. But two minutes before the end midfielder Yasin, making his first start of the tournament, sealed the points and the victory for Iraq." - Asian Cup

January 12, 2015 - Yaser Kasim scores in win over Jordan
"Yaser Kasim scored a late winner as former champions Iraq produced a gritty 1-0 victory over 10-man Jordan on Monday at Brisbane Stadium to move level on points with Japan in Group D of the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015.... just when a draw appeared to be on the horizon, Iraq put an end to the stalemate in the 77th minute through Kasim, who slashed his way into the penalty area from right angle before pulling the trigger and seeing his shot deflected off Khattab to wrong-foot goalkeeper Amer Shafi." - AFC

December 29, 2014 - Asian Cup roster named
"2007 Asian Cup champions Iraq have finalised their 23-man squad to participate in next month’s edition of the tournament to be held in Australia. Just four players over the age of 25 made the list, and nine players will join from defending Iraqi Premier League champions Al-Shurta. Amongst several players omitted following the scoreless draw against Uzbekistan yesterday, rising star Saif Salman and veteran winger Mahdi Karim were the most notable. Star striker Younis Mahmoud has received a call up despite currently being without a club after his contract with Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ahli expired, with the 31-year-old captain’s experience and scoring ability considered too valuable for Hakeem Shaker to pass up in his squad." - Football Channel

December 17, 2014 - Justin Meram called up again
"Justin Meram's frequent flier account is going to get a workout this offseason. The Columbus Crew SC winger was named to the Iraq national team squad for friendlies in December and January ahead of the 2015 Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup, which runs Jan. 9-31 in Australia. Meram, who is eligible to play for the Middle Eastern nation because both his parents were born in Iraq, earned his first national team call-up for November's Gulf Cup of Nations and has appeared in three games for the Lions of Mesopotamia." - MLS

November 10, 2014 - Justin Meram called up
"The Columbus Crew today announced that midfielder Justin Meram is set to become the first player in Major League Soccer history to earn an international call-up with the Iraq National Team. The Crew winger is set to depart today from New England to Saudi Arabia as Iraq is slated to play in the 2014 Gulf Cup of Nations. On Head Coach Hakeem Shaker’s side, Meram and Iraq are scheduled to play group stage matches in the tournament against Kuwait on November 14, against Oman on November 17 and the United Arab Emirates on November 20. This is the first call-up for the Shelby Township, Michigan-born Meram, who now holds dual citizenship through his parents, both from Iraq." - The Crew

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