Iraqi coach: ‘Forget quarterfinal win and focus on Uruguay match’


The Iraqi youth coach Hakim Shaker demanded his players turn over another page and forget their 5-4 penalty shoot out victory over South Korea in Kayseri and concentrate on the task of beating Uruguay in the semi-finals on Thursday.

In a statement to the Iraqi Sports Press Union, he said “To win the game and to reach the semi-finals of the tournament did not come randomly, but rather as a result of the concerted efforts of all and frankly, we were the best in everything against South Korea, but luck was not on our side, even in a single moment and distinctiveness result in the match, qualifying for the semi-finals was outstanding.”

 “I didn’t feel concerned during the game even when the Koreans equalised for the third time in injury time of the second period of extra-time and even after Mohammed Jabar Rabat missed his penalty in the shoot-out, I was confident of winning and noticed how it was on the bench with the reserves comprising of a group of players disciplined in order not to influence their colleagues on the playing field, but now and after that we qualified to the semi-finals we must turn over this page We will make preparing to face Uruguay in the semi-finals and make every effort to reach the final. “

Hakim Shaker’s remarks comes after Iraq’s Minister of Transport Hadi Al-Ameri, stated on Monday, that the ministry would provide transport for Iraqi fans from Baghdad to Trabzon, wanting to attend the semi-final with Uruguay.

Intensive talks held between the Iraqi Olympic Committee president Raad Hammoudi and the Minister of Transport, had resulted in an agreement to aid the Iraqi fans.

The secretary-general of the Iraqi Olympic Committee, Dr. Adil Fadil, told Iraqfpg that the initiative would ‘no doubt’ provide a large turnout of Iraqi fans for the Uruguay match, which would have ‘a positive impact’ on the performances of the players on the field.

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