Asian Cup Preview: Jordan v Iraq

The second contest of the opening round of Group D fixtures is between two sides in a slump and trying to work their way out of the mire in Brisbane from 7pm local time.

Iraq hasn’t won a fixture in a calendar year while Jordan hasn’t won in ten games either.

So we’re in for a desperate contest in what shapes up to be a head to head battle for second position in the group.

Head to Head:

Compared to the first fixture in this group – Iraq and Jordan have quite the history against each other.

The two nations have squared off 37 times and in a game featuring droughts, Iraq will take comfort in the fact they have won 21 encounters against Jordan while the latter have registered a win on only seven occasions with nine draws between the pair.

The Big Picture:

Iraq has been disappointing since their last triumph in the continental competition in 2007 and their sacking of managers would rival some European clubs.

In 2014 they had a torrid campaign in the Gulf Cup departing the tournament in the group stages with a solitary point meaning the end of Hakeem Shaker replaced by Radhi Shenaishil.

Shenaishil hasn’t fared much better than his compatriot without a win in four games, taking charge of a team who like to play freely without much consideration to structure.

Their opponents will just look to arrest the alarming slide they have found themselves in the middle of – an 11-game losing streak won’t be helped against their bogey side.

Jordan can play with freedom knowing not much is expected of them in Australia and the cagey nature of a game between two losing sides might blossom into a multiple goal thriller after the final whistle is blown.

Game breaker:

Goals win matches as the obvious cliché goes from the mouths of pundits and commentators, so if Iraq were to enforce their will on the contest and their lowly opponent veteran striker Younis Mahmoud will be play a big role.

He is unattached currently but reminds the Iraqi fans of their 2007 triumph as he scored the 73rd minute winner against Saudi Arabia.

Despite his free agent status, he will bring some needed experience to a youthful Iraq squad needing guidance in a dark time.

Jordan will look to one of their own attacking players to help them out of the current state Ray Wilkins’ side has found themselves in.

Odai Al Saify was a bright spot in a disappointing World Cup qualifying campaign and is a veteran from their 2011 campaign where they reached the Quarter Finals.

He was dropped by the previous regime and at 28 years old in his prime will be looking to leave a mark on audiences in Australia.


It will be a tense game with both teams currently without a win in quite some time, Iraq will look to happier times of 2007 and their record over Jordan to record their first win in more than 365 days with a 1-0 win.