Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Confed Cup: Iraq - Spain preview

Smart money says put your cash out for the Spaniard armada.

But football says it ain't over till the shrill blast.

Spain were Confederations Cup favorites ahead of their match with New Zealand, but pressure even increased ahead of their second game, against Iraq in an hour or so.

Following their 5-0 trashing of New Zealand, Spain know that another win would leave them practically qualified. In fact, la Furia Roja could equal the existing world record of most consecutive wins, 14. The record is currently held by Australia, Brazil and France.

Iraq were fortunate to draw the tournament opener with hosts South Africa, but this time things might just prove too difficult for the Asian champions.

It is expected that coach Bora Milutinovic picks a defensive tactic to keep the experienced Spanish strikers = like the pictured Torres - as far away from their goal as possible.

The senior sides of these two countries never met before, although the Iraqi youth team actually beat their Spanish rivals 2-0 at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in 1989.

The match is to be played in the city of Bloemfontein and starts at 1400GMT.