Olsen names strong Iraq squad for first challenge

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BANGKOK, Oct 3 (Reuters) Iraq's new coach Egil Olsen has named a full-strength squad for this month's soccer World Cup qualifiers with Pakistan, his first games in charge of the Asian Cup champions.

Olsen, who last month replaced Brazilian Jorvan Vieira, has picked a 25-man squad largely unchanged from that which won the Asian Cup in July.

The Norwegian, who took his country to the World Cup finals in 1994 and 1998 and to number two in the FIFA rankings, has recalled striker Emad Mohammed and may give Samer Saeed his international debut.

Player of the tournament Younnis Mahmoud, playmaker Nashat Akram and goalkeeper Noor Sabri are expected to figure in the matches in Lahore on Oct. 22 and Aleppo, Syria on Oct. 28.

SQUAD: Goalkeepers: Ahmed Ali, Noor Sabri Abbas, Mohammed Kasid.

Defenders: Jassim Gholam, Bassim Abbas, Khaldoun Ibrahim, Haidar Abdul Amer, Ali Hussein Rehema, Nabeel Abbas, Khaldoun Ibrahim, Dara Mohammed Ameen.

Midfielders: Nashat Akram, Salih Sadir, Ali Abbas, Ahmed Abid Ali, Hawar Mohammed, Mahdi Karim, Haitham Khadir, Qusay Munir, Samer Saeed.

Forwards: Karrar Jassim, Younis Mahmoud, Ahmed Menajed, Alaa Abdul Zahra, Imad Mohammed.

REUTERS TB SSC1417

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