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Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019

FIFA U-17 World Cup: Reputations don’t matter as Iraq meet Chile in crucial tie

Chile have everything to play for after Sunday’s loss, says coach Hernan Caputo ahead of Iraq clash in Group F of FIFA U-17 World Cup

fifa-u17-world-cup-2017 Updated: Oct 10, 2017 21:38 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Chile footballers during a training session in Kolkata on Tuesday, on the eve of their FIFA U-17 World Cup Group F match against Iraq.
Chile footballers during a training session in Kolkata on Tuesday, on the eve of their FIFA U-17 World Cup Group F match against Iraq. (PTI)

In terms of reputation, the odds on Chile putting it across Iraq would have been short. Till last Sunday that is. Chile were taken apart by England and lost Julio Borquez, their goalkeeper who is deemed good enough to be in his club’s senior squad, in that Group F match in the FIFA U-17 World Cup. His expulsion upset Chile’s rhythm, coach Hernan Caputo had said after the 0-4 defeat. (POINTS TABLE | RESULTS | SCHEDULE)

Branco Provoste stood in goal and said it was a ‘difficult challenge’ doing that. But for the team, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. Provoste, an outfield player of promise, was between the posts when Angelo Gomes’ free-kick sailed home.

On Wednesday, Borquez will be replaced by one from Rodrigo Cancino and Hugo Araya.

“Because of the bad result against England, the match against Iraq becomes very important,” said Caputo.

Iraq, on the other hand, held Mexico after leading against them for over half-an-hour. Coach Qahtan Chitheer said the approach against Chile would be different. “Just because Chile lost 0-4 doesn’t mean they are a bad team,” he said before training here on Tuesday.

“But the result against Mexico means that if we get three points tomorrow, it will be very good for us,” he said.

Intensity key for Iraq

Midfielder Bassam Shakir, a key player in helping Iraq go forward, accepted that there was a drop in intensity after Mexico equalised but said they have learnt a lot from that game and would try and fix things before Wednesday’s match.

“We don’t know much about Chile but we do know that teams from South America are very good. We are not looking at the result against England. It will be a new game for them,” said Shakir.

That Chile have kept only one clean sheet in 14 games in this competition ever would give Mohammed Dawood hope. By logging their first point ever in this competition, Iraq have already improved on their previous best. The time, they would think, is right to set the bar higher.

Chile train with black bands

Chile players wore black arm bands at training as a mark of respect for Dr Fernando Gonzalez, a medical doctor with the Chile federation, who died in a plane crash on Monday. The doctor, 54, was the co-pilot and the crash happened over the Rio de la Plata river that is between Uruguay and Argentina, said the team’s media manager.

First Published: Oct 10, 2017 21:38 IST

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