Iraq eyes first win; Chile looks to avoid elimination

Iraq secured its first ever point at the U-17 World Cup with a spirited draw against heavyweight Mexico and it would look to continue the momentum against Chile, which suffered a massive 0-4 defeat against England in its opening game.

It would be important for the Chileans to stop the Dawood’s (L) incisive plays tomorrow with its first choice goalkeeper suspended.   -  PTI

 

After holding two-time champion Mexico to a 1-1 draw, a buoyant Iraq will look to post a win when it takes on a demoralised Chile in its second Group F match of the FIFA U-17 World Cup at Kolkata on Wednesday.

Iraq secured its first ever point at the U-17 World Cup with a spirited draw against heavyweight Mexico and it would look to continue the momentum against Chile, which suffered a massive 0-4 defeat against England in its opening game.

Read: England puffs out Chilean challenge

Full of pace and seemingly endless stamina, Mohammed Dawood spearheaded the Iraqi counter-attacking game plan to perfection, and found himself in front of the goal post on more than one occasion.

Dawood gave the Asian champion a surprise lead in the 16th minute, before Mexico’s Roberto De La Rosa scored the equaliser in the 61st minute.

Dawood’s dominance tomorrow can prove instrumental in deciding whether Iraq would progress from Group F to the Round of 16 in its second Under-17 World Cup appearance.

However, Iraq’s coach Qahtan Jathir is in no mood to look too far ahead and said its focus is solely on Chileans at the moment.

“Chile will not be easy. They have good players and are strong physically. They have good tactics as well. So, we will give our best against them,” he said.

Chile would have to get its act together after a humiliating defeat in the previous game or face ouster.

It would be important for the Chileans to stop the Dawood’s incisive plays tomorrow but its ace goalkeeper Julio Borquez will be missed as he was red-carded against England.

“He (Julio Borquez) is a really important player for us.

We have good goalkeepers, so we will take a call as to who will take his place,” Chile coach Hernan Caputto said.

In the absence of Borquez, who was adjudged best goalkeeper in the South American U-17 championship, Chile will have to pick between Rodrigo Cancino and Hugo Araya.

Squads

Iraq v Chile

Match starts at 08:00 pm