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Iraq v Australia FIFA World Cup qualifier

Crocodile Bani

Active member
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Disclaimer:  Refrain from politics in this thread. Let's keep this 100% about SPORT, as the "political" side has been discussed over and over again that it is like beating a dead horse.
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In neutral Teheran, Iraq "hosts" Australia in a crucial World Cup qualifier this Thursday night (Australian time).  Australia need to win to keep up with the other pace setters (Saudi Arabia, Japan and UAE) and they have had some disappointing results by their standards.  Iraq on the other hand have been extremely unlucky in their matches so far (the Saudi Arabia game was really unfair) and if they lose this match are pretty much out of the running.

On the surface, it seems Australia should have an easy win, but Iraq is somewhat of a bogey team for Australia.  Australia under-estimated Iraq back at the 2007 Asian Cup and lost 3-1 (Iraq of course went on to win the tournament).  Iraq is also playing for pride as well as a spot in the FIFA World Cup.  Iraq has plenty to prove after those unlucky results earlier in this group phase.  Australia also needs to restore its reputation after some disappointing matches, especially the last one in Bangkok (which I was lucky enough to attend). 

I am expecting a really competitive match but I am going to be boring and predict a draw.  Australia is just not playing that well right now, but I can't see Iraq winning either.  If Australia under-estimates Iraq, I think history from 10 years ago WILL be repeated, though I have faith in the coach that he won't let the players relax until the game is over.
 

Crocodile Bani

Active member
Now both coaches are complaining that the pitch is bumpy.  Both teams like to pass the ball on the ground so the game may turn into a scrap, rather than the eye-candy that most Australia-Iraq games are.
 
I love watching Iraq and Australia play.

I remember a massive celebration in Fairfield that one occasion Iraq won (not sure if it was the finals, or just the game against Australia).
 

Birdman79

New member
Justin Meram is not in the selection.He refused to travel to Iran,something to do with the recent travel ban.Not really sure what's the issue,since he's a US citizen.It's too bad because he's played great lately for the team,and they're going to miss him.Rebin Solaka is another Assyrian whose in the selection.He plays centerback,it's possible he starts.
 

Cascade

New member
Mr. Tambourine Man said:
I love watching Iraq and Australia play.

I remember a massive celebration in Fairfield that one occasion Iraq won (not sure if it was the finals, or just the game against Australia).
Me too.

This mass celebration was in 2007. Fairfield streets were roaming with ecstatic Assyrians that night.
 

Crocodile Bani

Active member
I am off to class and then after class, find a pub that will show the game.  Probably end up in Sky City casino.

Go Australia!  I hope ex-Wanderer Tomi Juric scores the winning goal (though I still think it will be a draw).
 

Crocodile Bani

Active member
I was right about the draw but still disappointing from an Australian point of view.  Iraq only got going in the last 15 minutes.  Australia should have put them away before that.  I do admire Iraq's fighting spirit.  They never gave up and they got a deserved equaliser.  But now that Saudi Arabia won away to Thailand, it makes things really tough for Australia.  We need the UAE v Japan game to end in a draw.
 

Crocodile Bani

Active member
If Australia and UAE continue to drop points, Iraq still has a mathematical chance.  Iraq and Thailand are the two lowest teams in the group but they are much better teams than their position suggests.  This group was a tough one to begin with.  The team that has surprised me is Saudi Arabia.  They are looking all set for a World Cup berth. 
 
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