Argentina meets Iraq in Riyadh today


By Saleh Al-Harbi

Okaz/Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH — Argentina will meet Iraq in the quartet friendly Super Classico match at 8:45 p.m. Thursday at Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Stadium in Riyadh. Saudi Arabia and Brazil are the other two teams who are playing friendly matches.

All the stars except Lionel Messi, who announced his retirement from the knockout stage at the 2018 World Cup Finals, have arrived in Riyadh to play for the Argentina team. Lionel Scaloni, the new coach and caretaker manager of the team, and its technical manager pin great hope on the team making an excellent performance in the friendly match. The coach relies heavily on forward Mauro Icardi and defender Nicolás Otamendi in the match.

Football fans in the capital city are eagerly waiting for what the changes are going to be made by the Iraqi coach Srečko Katanec to enable it to give a tough fight to the Argentinian team. Noor Sabri, the veteran goalkeeper is expected to rise to occasion in saving his team.

Known as “Lions of Mesopotamia’, the team relies mostly on players such as Rebin Sulaka, Justin Meram, Ali Adnan and Mohanad Ali. Captain Saad Abdul-Amir is not playing due to injury and he will be substituted by Safaa Hadi in the match.

The match is very crucial for Iraqi team especially when the players are making preparations for the Asian Nations Cup, which will be held in the United Arab Emirates in January.