Iraq’s only World Cup appearance was at 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico where they were drawn in Group B with the hosts, Paraguay and Belgium. They were out of the tournament after three consecutive defeats and conceding four goals.
After almost thirty years they are looking forward to qualifying for their second World Cup as they face Thailand and Vietnam in the AFC 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification.
The continued of instability in the region means that the Lions of Mesopotamia (nickname of Iraq national football team) have to play away from their home country.
Despite the hardships Iraq is still considered a regional power after winning the 2007 Asian Cup.
I interviewed two of the main Iraqi players Noor Sabri, the goalkeeper and the captain Younis Mahmoud. I also had a sit down interview with the head coach Yahya Alwan who resigned after the 2-2 draw against Thailand.
But a 1-0 win against Vietnam thank to the goal by Mohannad Abdul-Raheem sealed the progress of Iraq to the 3rd and final round of qualifying.