Iraq football team qualifies for Olympics

Reply Thu 13 May, 2004 06:52 am
Iraq beat Saudi Arabia 3-1, and then clinched the third and final Asian qualifying spot when Kuwait held Oman to a scoreless draw.

Both Iraq and Oman finished Group C play with nine points, but Iraq won based on goal difference.

Only one team qualifies from the group.

Iraq's national soccer team is coached by the German Bernd Stange, who had coached the German Democratic Republic ("East Germany") years back with great successhad had great success.
Stange left Iraq last month because of deteriorating security conditions and difficulties getting support by the Iraq administration.

The Iraq team is rated at No. 44 in the FIFA rankings - higher than Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
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Reply Thu 13 May, 2004 04:19 pm
yeah, they are actually quite okay in football (in some strange parts of world known as soccer Razz), their former coach was Croat Rudi Belin, in WC 2002 qualifiers, while Iranian coach was famous Croat Miroslav Blazevic (best coach of the world in 1998th when Croatia surprisingly took third place in World Cup), so we were even able to watch the game live from Baghdad: Iraq-Iran Smile
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Reply Thu 13 May, 2004 05:20 pm
I am always amazed at the Saudis.
They spend millions and millions of dollars, and have never built a competitive team.
Saudi football fans must be very frustrated. I can bet some of them discharge their frustration on their wives.

In any case, I hope Iraq gets to be in the same group as Mexico.

Did Croatia & Germany qualify for Athens?
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Reply Fri 14 May, 2004 12:31 am
European U23 championship that starts on May 27th is at the same time european qualification tournament. Both Croatia and Germany play there. Eight teams play and best three go to Athens.

I know that one group is Croatia, Italy, Belarus; Serbia&Montenegro...and in other group is surely Germany as hosts, but I really have no idea who else - it's U23 competition and we are too focused on European championship in Portugal, but I suppose Spain should be there cause they are always great in youth competitions...maybe Portugal...
I think Walter will either know or he will find some link for sure Wink
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Reply Sun 16 May, 2004 12:19 pm
UEFA European U-21 C'Ship

Germany, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland play in the second group.
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Reply Sun 16 May, 2004 12:36 pm
oh, yeah, sorry, it's U21 C'ship - in Olympics U23 teams play (with two older players allowed) and this is qualifying tournament so that's where mistake comes from Smile
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