(Photo : FIFA)
Iraq will look to continue its surprising campaign at the Under 20 World Cup 2013 when it faces Paraguay in the round of 16 on Wednesday.
The Middle Eastern nation wound up earning the top spot in Group E after stunning a host of nations including Egypt, England, and Chile. The Iraqis started the competition with a 2-2 draw against England that featured a shocking comeback from a 2-0 deficit; that blown lead wound up costing England an early elimination in the group stage. Moreover, the final two goals, both scored in the final 15 minutes of play, indicated that Iraq was a team to contend with; a team no other group member could deal with. First the Egyptians watched as Iraq dismantled them 2-1 after blowing a 1-0 lead. Then Chile fell victim to Iraq in another 2-1 decision.
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The Iraqis will be looking to match their quarterfinals berth in the 1989 edition of the tournament; the team has never duplicated or bettered the feat since then.
Paraguay will be on a mission to stop them. The South American nation was unlucky to win up in this draw after finishing tied for first in its group with Greece. After winning against Mexico and drawing with Mali and Greece, the Paraguayans wound up with the same statistics as Greece and were forced into a drawing in which the winner would end up first in the group and would take on Uzbekistan. Paraguay lost the drawing and wound up as the second place team in the group.
"Now there are no more lots to deal with and there are no limits to what we achieve. It's in our own hands," Paraguay's Robert Piris Da Motta toldFIFA.com.
Prediction: Iraq seems like a team of destiny and will continue to disappoint Paraguay with a 1-0 win.
Start Time: Kick off starts at 11 AM EST
TV: The match will not be televised in the United States.