Qatar, July 15, 2011
Iraq, the former 2007 Asian Cup Champions were outclassed by Kuwait in their Invitation friendly match in Jordan on Wednesday. Kuwait won 2- 0 Vs The Iraqis on a friendly but very physical game, The first Half saw good action from both sides, creating passes and chances but led to well defined defense. However the 2nd half was another story.
The Iraqi Goalkeeper stopped shots and kept the ball out all night from an aggressive Kuwaiti offense, but couldn't hold more as Kuwaiti's Fahad Awadh stroke a perfect angle from a picture perfect pass fed by Bader Al-Mutwa coming in the box that had Kuwait leading on the 65th Minute. Hussain Fadel sealed the victory on 85th mark striking from a cross received by a teammate wildly passed to him and he made no mistake kicking it on the top right of the net. The Iraqis tried to score a goal on a break away attacker but was pulled literally from behind by a Kuwaiti defender.
Kuwait invested on deadly crosses and superior physicality vs an Iraq defense that was sloppy coming in the 2nd half.
The battle looms ahead for Kuwait Vs Philippines, The Azkals will leave today, 15 July 2011 to Bahrain as part of their 2nd round preparation, They will be without Jerry Lucena, who suffered a slight foot injury last June 30, Paul Mulders is another player the team will surely miss if Club fixtures forbids. Ray Jonsson's Club currently suffers from the list of injured players, but all hope is high that he can join in with the team in Bahrain. Jason De Jong was called up to the squad along with Patrick Hinrichsen and Yannick Tuason, who last saw action in the AFC Challenge Cup in Myanmar. Aly Borromeo and Schrock will not play on the first leg due to suspensions from acquiring 2 yellow cards vs Sri Lanka.
The Philippine Azkals hope to use their Bahrain matches to adjust in the Middle Eastern region's Hot Dry Climate. The 1st game vs U23 Bahrain will be in the National Stadium in Rifa then the 2nd game played after 2 days will be at the Muharraq Club Stadium. Tickets at BD. 114.00 (Bahraini Dinar)
"We will go 4-5-1," said Weiss, the formation he intends to use when the Azkals play the Kuwaitis in the opening leg at the 22,000 Seating Capacity of Mohammad Al Hamad Stadium on July 23.
"Defense is key" says coach and will try to control the Mid Field and Solidify the defense hoping to make a 0-0 Draw and bringing the match home in Leg 2 come July 28, 2011 in Rizal Memorial Stadium.
While the team prepares rigorously, Michael Weiss knows that they are truly the underdogs VS a powerhouse like Kuwait, but as our coach would tell FIFA "With solid preparation, good performance and perhaps an extra ounce of luck, it’s possible for us to turn the corner." and that corner is just around the bend.
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