Soccer-Draw With South Korea Delights Iraq’s Advocaat Ahead of Iran Showdown


Sept 3 (Reuters) – Dick Advocaat intends to adopt a more attacking approach when his Iraq team take on Iran in World Cup qualifying on Tuesday after the Dutchman steered his new charges to a 0-0 draw with South Korea.

The 73-year-old, who was appointed head coach last month, oversaw a disciplined performance that limited the Son Heung-min led Koreans to a minimum of goal-scoring opportunities at Seoul World Cup Stadium on Thursday.

“I’m very pleased with the result,” said Advocaat, who previously guided South Korea to the 2006 World Cup finals.

“We knew that we were playing against a very good team. We also knew if you want to get a result you have to work very hard and that’s what the team did.

“We only gave two, three chances against a very good side so we’re very happy with the performance of Iraq.

“If you play against a team like Korea, who have a lot of top players in Europe, then you can only have very good organisation and try to play on the counter attack and that’s what we did.”

Advocaat has been hired to lead Iraq to their first World Cup appearance since 1986 and they next take on neighbours Iran in Qatar.

The Iranians started their campaign with a 1-0 win over Syria to sit on top of the early standings in Group A as the six teams in the group chase two automatic berths available at next year’s finals.

“The team did very well defensively, but for the next game we will try to do more forward,” said Advocaat.

“This game for us was very important. We just started two weeks ago, it’s half a new group and I was watching more Iraq than Korea.”


(Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Peter Rutherford)


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