Al-Shurta players dominate youthful Iraq Asian Cup squad

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China v Iraq - Asian Cup Qualification

2007 champions have finalised their 23-man squad to participate in next month’s edition of the tournament to be held in Australia.

Just four players over the age of 25 made the list, and nine players will join from defending Iraqi Premier League champions Al-Shurta.

Amongst several players omitted following the scoreless draw against Uzbekistan yesterday, rising star Saif Salman and veteran winger Mahdi Karim were the most notable.

Star striker has received a call up despite currently being without a club after his contract with Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ahli expired, with the 31-year-old captain’s experience and scoring ability considered too valuable for Hakeem Shaker to pass up in his squad.

The Lions of Mesopotamia will play a final friendly against Iran in Wollongong on Sunday before opening their attempt at a second continental title against Jordan, Japan and Palestine.

Iraq’s 23-man Asian Cup squad

Jalal Hasssan (Arbil)
Mohammed Hamed (Al-Shurta)
Ali Yasin (Naft Al-Janoub)

Ahmed Ibrahim (Ajman/UAE)
Ali Bahjat (Al-Shurta)
Ali Faiz (Arbil)
Salak Shaker (Al-Shurta)
Walid Salim (Al-Shurta)
Samih Saeed (Nadi Amana Baghdad)
Ali Adnan (Caykur Rizespor/Turkey)
Dhargham Ismail (Al-Shurta)

Ahmed Yasin (Orebro SK/Sweden)
Amjad Kelaf (Al-Shurta)
Ali Husni (Al-Minaa)
Humam Tariq (Al-Dhafra/UAE)
Yaser Kasim (Swindon Town/England)
Saad Abdul-Amir (Arbil)
Mahdi Kamil (Al-Shurta)
Osama Rashid (Alphense Boys/Netherlands)

Younis Mahmoud (Unattached)
Alaa Abdul-Zahra (Al-Shurta)
Justin Meram (Columbus Crew/USA)
Marwan Hussein (Al-Shurta)