SA face must-win Rio clash with Iraq

SA face must-win Rio clash with Iraq
epa05463681 Jacob Bruun Larsen (R) of Denmark in action during the men's preliminary round group A match between Denmark and South Africa of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Soccer tournament at the Mane Garrincha Stadium in Brasilia, Brazil, 07 August 2016. EPA/ANDRESSA ANHOLETE BRAZIL OUT

by BackPageTXT

Wednesday Aug 10, 2016. 09:37

South Africa are gunning for a win over Iraq in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Group A game at the Arena Corinthians in São Paulo on Thursday.

Kick-off is at 3h00am.

Owen Da Gama's side are hoping to record their first group win after losing to Denmark in their previous encounter Sunday.

A second-half goal earned Denmark a 1-0 over SA. The Africans had drawn 0-0 with Brazil in their opening group encounter.

The two results leave SA placed fourth on the Group A standings with one point, while second placed Brazil have two points.

SA head coach Da Gama needs to guide his side past Iraq and hope that Brazil beat Denmark so that the Africans can qualify for the quarter-finals.

Mothobi Mvala, the defensive midfielder, is back from suspension. The Highlands Park player impressed against Brazil.

In attack Gift Motupa was guilty for not converting chances against Denmark. He will be hoping to make amends on Thursday and inspire SA to victory.

Meanwhile, Iraq will be looking to register their maiden victory at the Rio Olympic Games when they take on SA on Thursday.

The Asians remain undefeated having remarkably held both Denmark and Brazil to goalless draws in their first two group games.

With two points from two matches, Iraq are placed third on Group A standings. They are two points behind group leaders Denmark.

Iraq shocked the world at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games when they reached the knockout stages and they finished fourth.

Their current head coach Abdul Ghani Shahad is the man who is looking to guide them into the knockout stages of this year's Olympics.

A victory over SA on Thursday and a defeat or draw for Brazil against, will see Shahad's men progress into the quarter-finals.

The Group A clash between South Africa and Iraq will be officiated by Ecuadorian referee Roddy Zambrano.

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