Iraq secure victory against Indonesia in World Cup qualifier

By Hoang Nguyen    JUN. 6, 2024

Indonesia lost 0-2 to Iraq at home in the second round of 2026 World Cup qualifiers, making many mistakes after having a great first half.

In a thrilling World Cup qualifier held in Jakarta, Indonesia fell 0-2 to Iraq despite an impressive first-half performance. The loss means Indonesia will need to regroup and aim for victory in their next match against the Philippines to keep their qualifying hopes alive.


Indonesia (L) play Iraq in the World Cup qualifier in Jakarta, June 6, 2024. Photo by IFA

Indonesia began the match with confidence, buoyed by the support of thousands of home fans. Dominating possession early on, they created several promising opportunities. In the 20th minute, Rafael Struick made a notable run into the box, but his shot was deflected by an alert Iraq defender. Sandy Walsh also came close in the 34th minute, but his effort was cleanly caught by Iraq's goalkeeper, Jalal Hassan.

Despite Indonesia's dominance in possession, Iraq demonstrated their resilience. Ibraheem Bayes thought he had put Iraq ahead with a header in the 17th minute, but the goal was disallowed due to a foul. The first half ended goalless, with Indonesia showing promise but failing to capitalize on their chances.

The second half saw a dramatic shift in the game. Just six minutes in, Iraq was awarded a penalty after a handball by Indonesian defender Justin Hubner. Aymen Hussein confidently converted from the spot, giving Iraq a 1-0 lead.

Trouble compounded for Indonesia in the 59th minute when captain Jordi Amat received a straight red card for a last-man foul, reducing the hosts to 10 men. Iraq capitalized on their numerical advantage and kept pressing forward.

In the 73rd minute, Iraq was awarded another penalty when goalkeeper Ernando Ari fouled an attacker inside the box. Hussein, seeking to double his tally, blasted the penalty over the bar, giving Indonesia a glimmer of hope.

However, Indonesia's hopes were dashed in the 88th minute. A critical error by keeper Ari allowed Ali Jasim to score into an empty net, sealing a 2-0 victory for Iraq.


Ali Jasim (L) and Aymen Hussein who scored in Iraq's 2-0 victory over Indonesia in the World Cup qualifier in Jakarta on June 6, 2024. Photo by IFA

The final whistle confirmed Indonesia's 0-2 defeat, a result that reflected their struggles in the second half despite a promising start. The Indonesian squad, featuring several naturalized players from Europe, showed flashes of brilliance but ultimately succumbed to their mistakes.

As Indonesia looks ahead to their next match against the Philippines, they will need to address the errors and tactical issues that cost them dearly against Iraq. A win in the upcoming game is crucial for their aspirations in the World Cup qualifying campaign.

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