A double from Marwan Hussein and a splendid Dhargham Ismail volley guided the Iraqi Olympic team to a 3-1 victory over Saudi Arabia U-22 side in Muscat.
Al-Zawraa’s target-man Marwan, made his first start for the Olympic side after he was drafted into the squad before the warm-up matches in Doha, and almost netted in the opening seconds of the game. However it was Al-Shurta’s Dhargham Ismail that gave Iraq the lead with a ‘Van Basten’ style volley that went in off the woodwork on 36 minutes.
A tap in from new boy Marwan five minutes after the break put the game out of Khalid Al-Qarni’s reach, before he added his second of the game. Saudi’s substitute Mohammed Majrashi scored his side’s consolation a minute before the end.
The victory puts Iraq top of group D on a goal difference after Uzbekistan beat China 2-1 earlier in the day.
IRAQ 3-1 SAUDI ARABIA
Dhargha Ismail 36, Marwan Hussein 50, 69; Mohammed Majrashi 89
IRAQ: Jalal Hassan [c]; 23 Walid Salim, 3 Ali Bahjat, 2 Ahmed Ibrahim, 4 Mustafa Nadhim; 8 Saif Salman, 9 Mahdi Kamil (Jawad Kadhim 87′), 15 Dhargham Ismail, 14 Amjad Kelaf (Bashar Resan 90+2′); 16 Mohanad Abdul-Rahim, 18 Marwan Hussein (Ali Faiz 74′).
COACH: Hakim Shaker
SAUDI ARABIA: 21 Mohammed Al-Owais; 8 Abdullah Khalid Al-Ammar (23 Abdullah Madu 55′), 13 Saeed Al-Muwallad, 17 Abdullah Al-Hafith [c], 18 Motaz Hawsawi; 5 Zakaria Al-Sudani, 6 Maan Khodary, 11 Ibrahim Al-Ibrahim (3 Mohammed Al-Fatil 53′), 14 Majid Al-Najrani, 19 Salih Al-Shehri, 15 Salih Mohammed Al-Jamaan (20 Mohammed Majrashi 64′).
COACH: Khalid Al-Qarni
Referee: Mohammed Abdullah Hassan Mohammed (UAE)
Linesmen: Mohammed Al-Hammadi (UAE) & Ali Mohammed Ahmed Al-Hasani (Yemen)
Fourth Official: Yaqoub Saeed Abdullah Abdul-Baqi (Oman)
Cautions: Motaz Hawsawi 18′, Mahdi Kamil 24′.