Jordan beats Iraq 2-0 in World Cup qualifier

Jordan beats Iraq 2-0 in World Cup qualifier

Published Sep. 2, 2011 7:16 p.m. ET

Zico's first match in charge of Iraq ended in a 2-0 home defeat by Jordan in a World Cup qualifier on Friday.

Hasan Mahmoud opened the scoring for Jordan in the 42nd minute after Iraq's defense failed to intercept a long ball. Striker Abdulah Deeb added the second from inside the penalty area, just two minutes into the second half.

Iraq pressed for an equalizer, but was held in check by a strong Jordanian defense and good goalkeeping.

The match had to be suspended by Bahraini referee Nawaf Shukralla for more than five minutes in the second half when the lights in the stadium went off due to an electricity outage. In many cities in Iraq, residents get only a few hours of electricity a day, a reminder of the difficulties still facing the war torn country.


Zico agreed to take charge of the Iraqi national side on Sunday, with the former Brazilian playing great settling for a one-year contract. He was greeted with cheers of ''Zico, the patriot'' by Iraqi supporters.

As for the defeat in front of a crowd of 22,000 fans, Zico told a news conference: ''Our defenders committed some mistakes, and our task now is to fix these mistakes and not to repeat them in the coming matches.''

Jordan's coach, Adnan Hamd, an Iraqi national who lives in Jordan, said he was satisfied with his side's performance.

''I think that we deserve this win because we played better,'' Hamd said.

The match was played in Irbil, the capital of the Kurdish autonomous region, 217 miles (350 kilometers) north of Baghdad. The region is considered safer than the rest of Iraq, where visiting teams have raised concerns about playing.