Iraq give call to Al Dhafra’s Humam Tariq, 18, for Asian Cup
Iraq have named Al Dhafra’s talented 18-year-old playmaker Humam Tariq to their 2015 Asian Cup squad.
The 23-man squad, released on Monday, also includes 31-year-old Younis Mahmoud, Iraq’s most-capped player, despite his not playing for a club for more than a year.
Tariq should garner plenty of attention at the tournament in Australia, beginning on January 9, as one of the brightest young Iraqi talents. A member of the 2013 Under 20 World Cup side that finished fourth in Turkey, Tariq has one goal in eight senior AGL appearances for Al Dhafra this year after an October one-year loan deal was completed with UAE champions Al Ahli. He was also a part of the Iraq team that disappointed at the 2014 Gulf Cup of Nations in November. Iraq drew once and lost twice in their three matches in Saudi Arabia, finishing last in their group.
Tariq made his senior debut for the national team at 16, with his international highlight thus far coming with Iraq at the 2013 Gulf Cup, where they reached the final and lost to the UAE.
Mahmoud, who skippered the side to the 2007 Asian Cup title, has scored more than 50 goals for Iraq in more than 130 appearances but has not had a club contract since leaving Saudi Arabian outfit Al Ahli in December last year.
The talisman has instead represented Iraq’s mainly U23 side at the Asian Games in September, where they won a bronze medal after he scored four goals.
Younis was the only player aged over 30 named in Radhi Shenaishil’s squad for the Group D matches in Australia against holders Japan and fellow West Asian sides Palestine and Jordan.
Columbus Crew forward Justin Meram and Swindon Town midfielder Yaser Kasim were also named in the 23.
Sydney FC midfielder Ali Abbas, part of the 2007 winning side, missed out on a place in the squad after suffering a serious knee injury last month.
Squad: Ali Yasin, Ahmed Ibrahim, Ali Bahjat, Ali Faiz Atiyah, Yaser Kasim, Ali Adnan Kadhim, Amjed Kalaf, Justin Meram, Ahmed Yasin, Younus Mahmoud, Human Tariq, Jalal Hassan Hachim, Osamah Rashid, Salam Shakir, Dhurgham Ismail Dawood, Marwan Hussein, Hassan, Alaa Abdul Zahra Khashen, Samih Saeed Mejbel, Mahdi Kamil Shiltagh, Mohammed Hamed, Saad Abdulameer, Ali Husni Faisal, Waleed Salim
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Updated: December 30, 2014 04:00 AM