Justin Meram Iraq
File photo

Meram plays full 90 as Iraq falls to Australia, 2-0

Columbus Crew SC midfielder Justin Meram earned 19th cap for Iraq on Friday, playing the full 90 minutes for the Lions of Mesopotamia in a 2-0 loss to Australia in the Asian Football Confederation Third Round qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The Third Round of AFC qualification features two groups of six teams each in a double round-robin format, with the top two teams in each group directly qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the third-place team advancing to the Fourth Round.

Meram and Iraq sit in Group B along with Australia, Japan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Thailand, and will play against Saudi Arabia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Sept. 6. Through one match, Iraq is bottom of Group B, but only three points behind group-leader Australia.

    PL W D L +/- GD PTS
1 Australia 1 1 0 0 2-0 2 3
2 UAE 1 1 0 0 2-1 1 3
3 Saudi Arabia 1 1 0 0 1-0 1 3
4 Japan 1 0 0 1 1-2 -1 0
5 Thailand 1 0 0 0 0-1 -1 0
6 Iraq 1 0 0 1 0-2 -2 0
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