The Telegraph
Saturday, October 21, 2017

Dawood hogs the limelight

Calcutta: The action couldn't quite liven up the Salt Lake Stadium stands, as was the case in Wednesday's preceding Group F match between England and Mexico. But Iraq won't mind it.

They wanted to go for the kill against a struggling Chilean side and Mohammed Dawood ensured that Iraq finished with full points, winning 3-0 to register their first-ever victory in this competition. Having done the star turn with a brace, Dawood is a player to watch out for in the future.

For sure, this victory is crucial for the Iraqis, for their prospects of making further progress in the ongoing Fifa U-17 World Cup have brightened. A draw in their final group-phase game against England should be sufficient to see them through.

"We dedicate this victory to the people of Iraq. It was a very important match for us Iraqis. Am really glad that we did win it," Dawood said later.

Iraq attacked right from the onset and the match was just into its seventh minute when they made an impact. Yerco Oyanedel lost the ball to Dawood and the Iraqi striker rammed home a right-footer that ricocheted off Chile goalie's Rodrigo Cancino's knees. Chile might have missed their regular goalkeeper Julio Borquez, who was serving a suspension.

Cancino did deny Dawood from getting a hat-trick though when he blocked a penalty at the fag end of the game, but the game was practically over by then.

For Dawood, who played with stiffness in his calf against Mexico, it's not only about being a prolific scorer. His dribbling skills, speed and sense of positioning also make him one of the standout players of this U-17 Cup.

The marksman split open the Chilean defence with a fine dribble before being brought down.

He earned Iraq a free-kick and then effortlessly slotted it home from the edge of the box, giving Cancino hardly any chance. That was Iran and Dawood's second goal.

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