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FIFA U-17 World Cup: Mohammed Dawood helps Iraq notch up 3-0 win over Chile

With three goals in two games, Mohammed Dawood has put Iraq on course for round of 16 in FIFA U-17 World Cup.

fifa u17 world cup 2017 Updated: Oct 11, 2017 23:41 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
FIFA U-17 World Cup,Mohammed Dawood,IRQvCHI
Iraq just need a draw from their final group game against England to make it top the round of 16 of FIFA U-17 World Cup.(AP)

The men stumbled at the final hurdle, against Brazil. The boys were scared -- perhaps scarred as well -- by the Lions of Mesopotamia. It was that kind of a day for Chile, a proud football nation that has hosted a World Cup and are the reigning Copa America champions.

That’s because in Mohammed Dawood, Chile ran into a one-man demolition squad. On way to their first win in the U-17 World Cup, Dawood scored three of Iraq’s four goals, the other being an own-goal from Chile’s Diego Valencia in the 82nd minute.

Missed penalty, hattrick

The star from Baghdad could have got a hattrick but missed the penalty he had won in the second-half stoppage time, after he was felled by Gaston Zuniga.

With four points from two games, Iraq are second in Group F and a draw away from making it to the Round of 16. While Wednesday’s result may not compare with Iran’s decimation of Germany, it would still be a major upset.

For the second time in as many matches, Iraq went into half-time with the lead. And for the second time, it was Dawood who got them there. The targetman missed his first attempt but left-back Yerco Oyanedel’s failure to clear -- it encapsulated Chile’s poor show so far -- gave him a second opportunity. Dawood cannoned it in at Rodrigo Cancino’s near post in the sixth minute.

Outwitting rival defence

Every time Iraq set a move going, Dawood, standing with the rival defensive line, asked for the ball to be played in front and backed himself to take control. By now, this much has been known about him but Dawood is so good at it that Mexico first and Chile on Wednesday found it difficult to stop him.

Like the first goal, the second, in the 68th, too was of Dawood’s own doing. He hared past Zuniga and Martin Lara and was about to enter the penalty area when Lara clipped him from behind. Dawood curled the free-kick around the ‘wall’ and into the bottom corner. There’s more to him than being turbo-charged.

Iraq’s preparations have been far from adequate but along with what Syria nearly achieved and what Egypt have, this is another proof of how football has more than survived in times of severe strife.

First Published: Oct 11, 2017 23:15 IST