|Flag : Republic of Iraq|
Iraq,a country popular for its exploits in 'war and bombing' are making headway in the on-going FIFA U20 tournament in Turkey,a country also in mild chaos recently;but it is quite unfortunate they are not receiving the deserving praise and hype to propel them for future heights from the pundits and connoisseurs of the game.
Iraq U20 is one of only three teams to have all their players in the tourny plying their trade locally aside Cuba and Uzbekistan.Few expected them to come thus far albeit their wonderful performance in the Asian zone where they were runners-up,losing to a well respected South Korean side on penalty shoot-outs.
The mentally tough Young Lions of Mesopotamia got a sweet revenge on their continental rivals South Korea when they knocked them out;at a bigger stage in Turkey during their quarter-final encounter via penalty shoot-outs after a thrilling encounter within the stipulated time of 90 minutes and extra time of 30 minutes ended 3 goals apiece.
The Iraqis came to the FIFA tournament as one of the underdogs especially when they found themselves in a group with countries such as Egypt~African champions,Chile~South-American giants as well as England~a side that needs no introduction to this game.Less than few people gave them the benefit of the boubt that they were Asia's runners-up capable of pulling strings from the sky.But a much more resilient side at this year's tournamnent than any Asian side represented,smashed the odds and probabilities by rallying back from two goals down to clinch an all important draw against England in only few minutes away from stoppage time.They went on to defeat both the African champions Egypt and South-American giants Chile in their subsequent group games which saw them sit on top of the group with 7 points in comfort and warning other teams fairly.They went on to defeat both Paraguay and South Korea in the Round of 16 and quarter finals respectively booking their place in the semi-finals for the first time at a FIFA organised tournament against an equally resilient Uruguayan side at the surprise of most fans of the game.
Whether they fail to make it to the ultimate grande finale or get there,nothing can be taken away from this history and record breaking Iraqi side who deserve the applause of all and sundry.
Amidst their war torn country's state,these heroes bring joy and smile onto the faces of their natives.Without any iota of doubts some of these players are a bunch of delights to see in action and am quite convinced most are finding their names in the books of top scouts around the world and working tirelessly around the clock to secure relatively the dear signatures of these starlets' now before the transfer window shuts.
Let us take a glance at the magicians doing the trick for the Young Lions of Mesopotamia side :
|Hakeem Shaker Al-Azzawi|
|Mohamed Hassan Hameed Farhan|
|Ali Adnan Kadhim Al-Tameemi|
Ali Adnan Kadhim Al-Tameemi(DEFENDER/LEFT BACK) : Arguably the most impressive side-back in the tournament,Ali Adnan Kadhim Al-Tameemi burst from the back straight into the opposite half of the field with some sublime footworks propelling him to go past defenders and midfielders with ease.Always brimming with energy and full of athletism coupled with his unrivalled strength,opponents find it a tough task taming the wild and audacious left-back who is often than not,seen in the third half of the field entertaining viewers with dazzling skills and screamers from long ranges.Inspite of his attacking prowess,Ali serves as a good pillar for his team when defending.With regard to his delivery crosses,overconfidence serves as his bane and falters on quite few occassions but looking at his tender age,with hard work he could overcome this and be a star to watch in the future.With little or no dispute the Baghdad FC defender could be landing a big contract abroad and also one of the prime candidates for the GOLDEN BALL award at the tournament.He also has experience with the olympic team and also scoring a couple of crucial goals for both the olympic and U20 side underlying his efficiency when he surges forward.
|Ali Fayez Attiya|
|Farhan Shakor Tawfeeq|
Indeed these Iraqis are a special side with lots of prospects who vow to change the face of the nation's football not only as super powerhouse in their continent but a side worth huge recognition at the world stage.Keep an eye on these boys and see what the future has for them.
|INDEED THIS COULD BE THE TIME FOR IRAQ|