Indonesia vs Iraq

Stadion Utama Gelora Bung Karno is the venue as Indonesia meet Iraq in a potentially crucial 2026 World Cup qualifying Group F contest.

Indonesia’s 134th place in FIFA rankings probably best illustrates their stature in world football, further highlighted by the fact their only previous appearance at the World Cup dates back to 1938. Their effort to qualify for the Qatar showpiece in 2022 was an unmitigated disaster, underscored by seven defeats from eight qualifying games (D1). However, Shin Tae-yong has turned Indonesia’s fortunes around in the current cycle following a sluggish two-game start to their Group F campaign (D1, L1). Back-to-back victories against Vietnam ‘to nil’ have propelled them to second in the group, four points clear of the third-placed Vietnamese. Avenging a thumping 5-1 defeat against Iraq in the reverse fixture would see Indonesia reach the third qualifying round with a game to spare, but that’s easier said than done.

This fixture has been traditionally kind to Iraq as they’ve beaten Indonesia across five consecutive meetings since a 1-1 draw in their first encounter in 1973. With their last three H2H victories coming by multi-goal margins, this could be plain sailing for the runaway Group F leaders. As the only side in this section to have won all four matches, Jesus Casas’ men have already advanced into the third qualifying stage. Relieved of pressure, Iraq can focus on strengthening their formidable H2H record versus Indonesia, the only team to have scored against them in the ongoing qualifying campaign. But following a 5-0 thrashing of the Philippines on their last travel, conceding will probably not derail Iraq’s chances of extending their winning streak against the Indonesians.

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