IRAN WORLD CUP – The most vital game of any football tournament, which has become a fixture of the nation’s calendar since 1994, is now in its eighth year and is a must-win for Iran and its archrivals.
A total of 13 teams are competing in the first phase of the Asian Football Confederation World Cup in the UAE, and as the tournament enters its fifth week of play, Iran is already leading Group A with a comfortable 7-0 win over Azerbaijan on Wednesday.
It was a match that took place at a time when the country’s reputation as a top footballing power was in question, and it remains one of the most important games of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
“I have not been here in two years, and I have never played in the World Cup,” said Mohammad Ali Hajj, a midfielder for Iran, who was one of four players in the Iranian squad who played in Russia.
“It was a very emotional match for me.
We lost a great match.”
The scoreline could not have been more different.
“We have a big chance,” said Hajj.
We know how to beat a big team.” “
Everyone knows that we have a lot of experience.
We know how to beat a big team.”
The result of the match was the latest in a string of games in which Iran has been involved in close games, including a 1-0 victory over Belgium in the final in Russia in 2015 and a 2-1 win over Spain in the quarterfinals in 2014.
But the last match to be decided by a single goal came in the 2014 World Cup qualifier in India.
“They are very good,” said Iranian coach Farhad Javed, who had his team up against the same Azerbaijan side that beat Iran 3-1 in a friendly in September.
“This match is very important for us.” “
In a tournament with a prize pool of more than $2 billion, Iran has a chance to take the World Championship by storm. “
This match is very important for us.”
In a tournament with a prize pool of more than $2 billion, Iran has a chance to take the World Championship by storm.
The Iranians, however, are looking to avoid a repeat of the 2014 final, when they were beaten by Spain 2-0 in Tehran, the last time the nation participated in the event.
“Iran is a strong team, but we need to work hard to make sure that we do not repeat the past,” said Iran coach Farzad Shahabi, who has been with the country since 2003.
“At the end of the day, the World Championships are a very important game for the national team.
We are not just a football nation, but a country that represents Iran, so we need every advantage.”