Iraq draw 2-2 with England in Egypt group in U-20 World Cup

AP, Sunday 23 Jun 2013

Iraq stunned England with a goal in the dying seconds to earn a hard-fought 2-2 draw in the Under-20 World Cup on Sunday, denying the English their first win in the competition since 1997

England's U-20 team (Photo: the English FA website)

It was a bitter blow for England, which has had a miserable run at the Under-20 World Cup, even failing to score in the last competition two years ago. A win would have also lifted some pressure off the Football Association following its under-21 team being knocked out early at the European Championships earlier this month.

The English started well and were the better side for long stretches of the Group E match, using their physical size and strong passing game to cause headaches for the Iraqi defense.

England took the lead when a corner was headed by Harry Kane to allow captain Conor Coady to score in the 41st minute. England doubled its lead in the 52nd courtesy of a nifty run by Kane. He rushed down the right side and fed a charging Luke Williams, who tapped the ball in for what seemed an insurmountable 2-0 lead.

But after England goalkeeper Samuel Johnstone brought down Mohanad Abdulraheem in the area, Ali Faez sent the spot kick into the upper part of the net to cut the lead in half. And in the third minute of injury time, Ali Adnan weaved his way past four defenders in the area and fired a shot that glanced off Johnstone and went into the net.

That set off wild celebrations among the Iraqi fans and prompted Iraqi coach Hakeem al-Azzawi to start dancing.

Earlier in the day, Egypt slumped to a 2-1 defeat by Chile in the other Group E game.

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