Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Haidar Mahmood recalled for Iraq's crucial qualifier

Baghdad, Al Sabaah Daily

Iraqi coach Adnan Hamad has recalled first choice goalkeeper Ahmed Ali and Haidar Mahmood for Iraq's all-important qualifier against Uzbekistan next month.

Ahmed Ali, who missed out on Iraq's remarkable run in Athens in August, returns to the squad after serving a one-match suspension. Haidar Mahmood, on the other hand, has been virtually abscent from he national setup for almost two years. He has only featured once for Iraq since late 2002. The 31 year-old right back will be hoping the recall would serve to revive his international career.

Hamad made three other changes, two of which come as a surprise. Jassim Mohammad Ghulam, a member of Iraq's U-20 golden side that won the Asian U-20 cup in Iran in 2000, makes a return to the national team after impressing lately with Al-Jawiya. Also making a surprise return is Al-Shorta's 22 year-old combative midfielder Haitham Kadhim, whose spirited displays for Al-Shorta in Al-Jumhoriya's Cup lately in Egypt must have convinced Hamad to give him another chance at the national level. As expected, Ahmed Mnajid's replacement comes in Loay Salah, who has been in fine form lately. Iraq must win agains Uzbekistan on October 12th in Amman to keep alive their hopes of advancing to the second round of world cup 2006 qualifiers.
*Translated from Arabic

Source: Alsabaah Daily