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Category: Iraq

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‘I’ve had setbacks in my life’: Ali Abbas tries to find relaxation in football | Emma Kemp

The A-League cult hero opens up on his secret satellite dish, post-Asian Cup threats, when Iraq tried to recruit Graham Arnold and his own comeback hopesAli Abbas was 17 when he told Saddam Hussein’s men to go home. Warned them, rather, that US troops …

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The forgotten story of … the striker saved by football in Saddam’s Iraq

Sahib Abbas was locked up, tortured and forced to cope with the state-organised murder of his brother and four friends but thrived in remarkable circumstancesJust as he had done after every game, Sahib Abbas took the journey back to Karbala by bus. Thi…

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Kylian Mbappé rescues France against Iceland while Portugal see off Poland

• France score twice in last four minutes to draw 2-2 at home• Aleksandar Mitrovic double helps Serbia win in MontenegroFrance avoided an embarrassing defeat by Iceland with two goals in the last five minutes, including a last-gasp penalty from the sub…

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Australia denied by Iraq’s Ahmed Yasin in fourth consecutive draw

  • Iraq 1-1 Australia
  • Yasin 76 Leckie 39

The Socceroos escaped with a nerve-wracking draw against Iraq amid dreadful conditions in Tehran to leave their World Cup qualification hopes in the balance.

Mathew Leckie gave Australia the lead with a 40th-minute header from an Aaron Mooy corner but Iraq’s attacking persistence paid off and they equalised through the substitute Ahmed Yasinin the second half.

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Australia denied by Iraq’s Ahmed Yasin in fourth consecutive draw

  • Iraq 1-1 Australia
  • Yasin 76 Leckie 39

The Socceroos escaped with a nerve-wracking draw against Iraq amid dreadful conditions in Tehran to leave their World Cup qualification hopes in the balance.

Mathew Leckie gave Australia the lead with a 40th-minute header from an Aaron Mooy corner but Iraq’s attacking persistence paid off and they equalised through the substitute Ahmed Yasinin the second half.

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Australia denied by Iraq’s Ahmed Yasin in fourth consecutive draw

  • Iraq 1-1 Australia
  • Yasin 76 Leckie 39

The Socceroos escaped with a nerve-wracking draw against Iraq amid dreadful conditions in Tehran to leave their World Cup qualification hopes in the balance.

Mathew Leckie gave Australia the lead with a 40th-minute header from an Aaron Mooy corner but Iraq’s attacking persistence paid off and they equalised through the substitute Ahmed Yasinin the second half.

Continue reading…

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Iraq v Australia: World Cup 2018 qualifying – live!

  • Live updates from the Socceroos’ crucial qualifier in Tehran
  • Get in touch with Sam on email or Twitter

11.48pm GMT

Sam will be here shortly. In the meantime, have a read of John Davidson’s interview with Socceroos midfielder Jackson Irvine.

Related: Jackson Irvine: ‘It’s an expectation now that Australia should be in the World Cup’

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The Dozen: the best photos from this week’s World Cup qualifiers

Player tussles, reactions and illuminated fans – the best images from around the globe as 209 teams continue on the road to Moscow 2018

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Socceroos off to winning start with victory over Iraq in World Cup qualifier

  • Australia beat Iraq 2-0 at nib Stadium in Perth
  • Final phase of qualification begins with victory for Socceroos

The Socceroos are off and running on the road to Russia, overcoming a dogged Iraq with a 2-0 World Cup qualifying win in Perth. Second-half goals to Massimo Luongo and Tomi Juric on Thursday night ensured the right result for Ange Postecoglou’s side on an evening that almost threatened to end sourly.

A first half of frustration gave way just before the hour mark, when Luongo arrived on the spot to thrash home Juric’s squared ball. The striker made sure of the result on 65 minutes, when Mark Milligan successfully drew attention from Aaron Mooy’s corner, allowing Juric to tap home from a metre.

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Australia v Iraq: World Cup 2018 qualifying – live!

12.57pm BST

68 mins: Yellow card to Brad Smith for a crude challenge on the edge of his own box. Abbas goes for goal from the free kick but it dips harmlessly over Ryan’s bar.

12.56pm BST

Back to Martin Turnbull (20:30) #Neverindoubt – “Regulation win coming up, just as I thought.”

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Neymar and Brazil draw blank in Rio 2016 opener with South Africa

• Gabriel Jésus hits the post but host nation are held
• Germany come back twice to draw 2-2 with Mexico

Brazil were held to a goalless draw by 10-man South Africa on the opening day of the men’s Olympic football tournament in Brasilia.

The home side were bolstered by the presences of Neymar and the new Manchester City signing Gabriel Jésus , but struggled for inspiration against well-organised visitors who held firm despite the dismissal of Mothobi Mvala shortly before the hour for a second yellow card.

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Suicide bomber kills 29 in a football stadium near Baghdad

Isis suspected of attack in Iskanderiyah as Iraqi forces recapture towns and villages in western and northern provinces A suicide bomber has blown himself up in a football stadium south of the Iraqi capital, killing 29 people and wounding 60, security …

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‘It was always my No1 choice’: Justin Meram, the US-born Christian playing for Iraq

Justin Meram was written off as too small, but now he’s starring for a Columbus Crew side on the up – and he’s also turning out for his parents’ home country

As Justin Meram tells it, he plays the game with a chip on his shoulder—a trait he senses he will never quite shed. The temptation might be to interpret this in a negative light, a busted ego perhaps. Only he doesn’t seem the sort. He’s a genial individual, and well grounded. No, it would seem to run deeper than that. Because for as long back as Meram can remember, soccer, has been a test.

First of all he had to convince the soccer luddites that despite his slight physique he could still mix it at the highest levels. And now that spirit comes in handy when he is doing the thing that marks him out in a way no else can claim: as the only Christian in the Iraqi national team.

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Cameron puts corruption on G7 agenda after Fifa bribery scandal

Prime minister to tell summit that leading nations must ‘break the taboo on talking about corruption’, calling it ‘arch-enemy of democracy and development’

David Cameron is preparing to warn fellow world leaders at the two-day G7 summit that starts in Germany on Sunday that the Fifa bribery scandal must be a trigger for international action against corruption.

The prime minister will criticise what he will call a widespread “taboo” in pointing the finger at corrupt institutions, and will say the Fifa scandal has shown how focusing on an organisation can provide the impetus for cleaning-up operations.

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United Arab Emirates down Iraq to finish third at Asian Cup

Iraq 2-3 United Arab EmiratesAhmed Khalil scores two and Ali Mabkhout adds another Continue reading…

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South Korea reach Asian Cup final with victory over Iraq

Korea Republic are now just 90 minutes away from breaking their 55-year Asian Cup drought with their semi-final win eliminating a spirited but ultimately outclassed Iraq.

Goals from Lee Jeong-hyeop and Kim Young-gwon early in each half in Sydney quelled any Iraqi hopes of reprising their storied Asian Cup victory of 2007.

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Asian Cup semi-final: South Korea v Iraq – as it happened

South Korea 2-0 IraqGoals to Lee Jeong-hyeop and Kim Young-gwon send Korea to the final Continue reading…

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Iran fail in bid to overturn Asian Cup defeat to Iraq

  • Iran protest Iraq used an ‘ineligible’ player in their quarter-final
  • AFC dismisses claim as unfounded; Iraq focused on semi

Iraq have been cleared to take their place in Monday’s Asian Cup quarter-final against South Korea after the Asian Football Confederation dismissed a protest from Iran.

Iraq beat their old foes 7-6 on penalties after the teams finished tied at 3-3 in Friday’s quarter-finals but Iran later submitted a formal protest, asking for the result to be overturned.

Related: Iraq beat Iran on penalties to settle classic Asian Cup encounter

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Iraq beat Iran on penalties to settle classic Asian Cup encounter

  • Iran 3-3 Iraq (aet – Iraq win 7-6 on penalties)
  • Iraq to meet South Korea in semi-final

Iraq beat Iran 7-6 on penalties to reach the semi-finals of the Asian Cup after the two Middle Eastern rivals played out one of the most extraordinary matches in the tournament’s history.

With the tension almost unbearable both on and off the pitch, Iraq fought back to beat a 10-man Iran after the teams finished tied at 1-1 at the end of normal time and then 3-3 after extra-time.

Related: Japan 1-1 UAE (UAE win 5-4 on penalties) | Asian Cup quarter-final match report

Related: Iranian women stand united in protest and hope at Asian Cup

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Iran v Iraq: rivals ready for Asian Cup 2015 quarter-final showdown

• Iraq aiming to repeat their Asian Cup victory in 2007
• Iran have not been crowned continental champions since 1976

Emotions are always high when Iran and Iraq meet on the football pitch. The political history between the two Middle Eastern neighbours always provides both teams with added motivation. On Friday, the rivals will clash in the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup in Canberra and but bragging rights are only part of the equation.

The Iraq coach, Radhi Shenaishil, has warned his players to forget about who they’re playing, telling them that cool heads are needed with the bigger carrot of a semi-final against South Korea in Sydney awaiting the winner.

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