Chile lost 2-1 to Iraq in its final group game at the U20 World Cup but still qualified for the next stage of the tournament as the second placed team in Group E.
Following results earlier in the day Chile were guaranteed a place in the last sixteen of the tournament and in light of that Mario Salas’ went into their final group game with the likes of captain Igor Lichnovsky, Nicolás Castillo, Bryan Rabello, Claudio Baeza and Angelo Henriquez on the bench. Much of this was down to the fact that Lichnovsky, Rabello, Baeza and also Andres Robles were all on yellow cards and were in danger of missing Chile’s next match. As to why Henriquez and Castillo were left on the bench it was anyone’s guess.
Despite all the changes, Chile started the much better team but it was Iraq who took the lead in the fifteenth minute when Mohaned Abudlraheem’s cross was deflected perfectly into the path of Mahdi Kamil who accepted his luck and finishing nicely with his left foot.
Following the goal Chile continued to create chances and thirteen minutes later Felipe Mora, who was getting a rare start with the absence of Castillo and Henriquez, headed home a Oscar Hernandez corner. Mora almost gave Chile the lead going into the half time break but he was denied by Iraqi goalkeepr Mohammed Hameed, who had an excellent game, after being put through by Nicolas Maturana.
Mora was certainly enjoying his start and had another chance to give his team early in the second half but once again he was denied by Hameed. After the earlier dominance Chile began to look disjointed and the Iraqis began to create more and more chances of their own and in the 67th minute they found the back of the net courtesy of Saif Salman, whose 30 yard effort deflected off Chilean defender Valber Huerta completely wrong footing Dario Melo in the process.
Despite their best efforts Chile was unable to maintain their unbeaten run in the tournament and Salas’ late game to bring on Rabello backfired as the Sevilla midfielder was booked in the 91st minute and will now miss Chile’s Round of 16 clash with Croatia which is to take place on Wednesday.
Iraq 2-1 Chile
Photo taken from elgrafico.cl