Football: Iraqi coach is dismissed

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The Independent Online
IRAQ have sacked their coach, Adnan Dirjal, after only one game of Asia's World Cup final qualifying round in Qatar, writes Rupert Metcalf.

Iraq lost 3-2 to North Korea on Friday after being 2-0 ahead. Ammu Baba, who coached his country at the 1986 World Cup finals, takes charge for today's match against South Korea.

Odai Hussein, the eldest son of the Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, has assumed overall control of the World Cup squad, and he made yesterday's decision to dismiss Dirjal, who was involved in unruly scenes during Friday's match, and two of his assistants.

Japan, tipped by many to progress, have yet to win. They were beaten 2-1 by Iran yesterday after being held by Saudi Arabia in their first game. 'We have one chance left - we must win our last three matches,' Japan's coach, Marius Ooft, said. The Saudis head the six-team group, from which the top two qualify for the finals, after a 2-1 win over North Korea.

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