Friday, October 01, 2004

Iraq and Uzbekistan to meet in Amman


Next month’s crucial World Cup 2006 qualifier between Iraq and Uzbekistan is to be played in the Jordanian capital of Amman.

The top two sides in Group 2 are to meet on October 13 in a game that is likely to decide the team that will advance to the next round of the World Cup qualifying tournament. Given the tenuous security situation in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, all of Iraq’s home games have been scheduled to be played outside the country but the match originally slated for Doha, Qatar will now be played instead in Jordan.

The two teams drew 1-1 in Tashkent earlier this year but Uzbekistan currently lead the group by two points after winning their subsequent three matches with 3-0 wins at home and away against Palestine, and a 1-0 victory at Chinese Taipei.

Iraq scored a pair of big wins against Chinese Taipei but were held to a 1-1 draw by Palestine in Doha early in their campaign.

Iraq and Uzbekistan also met in Chengdu during the Asian Cup 2004 in July with the Uzbeks winning 1-0 although both teams progressed to the quarter-finals.

Only the top team in the group will progress to the final round of qualifiers so the outcome of the game on October 13 should prove especially important for both teams. A draw might prove enough for the Uzbeks to claim top spot with only a home match against minnows Chinese Taipei to come.

Source: Footballasia