Mohammed Khadum, Iraq's goalkeeper celebrates his clean sheet
and his team's 6 - 0 victoryIraq cruised to the top of Group B in
the first round of the men's football tournament with a thumping
6-0 win over Indonesia at the Al-Ahli Sports Club on Saturday
Goals from Kamar Muhamed, Ahmed Mohammed, Ali Rehema, Ali Alwan
and Mostafa Abd Alla (2) gave Iraq a well-deserved victory over an
energetic, but technically limited Indonesian side – which finished
the game with nine men.
Hendra Ridwan was dismissed by referee Yang Zhiqiang of China in
the 44th minute for a second bookable offence, with his team
already three goals adrift. He was joined by Herman Rhomansyah in
the 78th minute who, after already receiving a yellow card for a
hefty challenge, complained too vociferously and was promptly
Time after time the Indonesian defence was carved open by a
well-organised Iraqi team, who will have enjoyed this
confidence-boosting win. Winger Samer Mujbel caught the eye while
captain Rehema bossed the midfield and crowned a superb display
with the game's best goal – a curling 30 yard free-kick into the
top left hand corner of the net in the 87th minute.
First half goals from Muhamed, Mohammed and Abd Alla had put
Iraq well in control and a second from Abd Alla, one from
substitute Alwan, and Rehema's screamer, sealed a satisfying
evening in the second half.
There was little to cheer for Indonesia's enthusiastic band of
supporters, but its best moments featured right back Zulkifli
Syukur. In the last minute of the first half he delivered a superb
cross for Tony Sucipto, only to see the midfielder slice his shot
wildly over the bar when he should have done better.
Syukur also came closest for Indonesia in the second half when
he broke free on the right hand side and swung a decent effort just
over the bar.
For Indonesia's Dutch coach Foppe de Haan, Iraq's superiority
during the match provided plenty of problems for his inexperienced
"We had a lot of problems and Iraq was very good at changing
their positions and handling the speed of the ball – their
positional play was so much better. We were chasing far too much
while they were very comfortable on the ball, but we have to learn
to play at this level. "
"I feel we were unlucky to get two red cards, but it was a
really bad match for us. Our goalkeeper Galih Sudaryono and Hendra
played well, but the others did not play to their normal
Indonesia's hopes of qualification to Round 2 already look bleak
with matches against Syria and Singapore yet to come – their group
rivals having fought out a dour 0-0 draw earlier in the day. But
for Iraq, it has laid down an early marker with its intentions for
big things at Doha 2006.
(dohaasiangames.org November 18, 2006)