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Iran Beats Iraq in Friendly Match

Iran Beats Iraq in Friendly MatchIran Beats Iraq in Friendly Match

In its last friendly match one week prior to its first match in 2015 AFC Asian Cup, Iran national soccer team defeated Iraq 1-0 on Sunday.

As the two teams are getting ready to take part in the Asian Cup, they competed in a game held at the WIN Stadium in Sydney, Australia, Varzesh3 website reported.

As the friendly against Palestine was canceled, this match was vital for Iran’s preparation ahead of the cup games. “This is a simulation match for the Asian Cup group stage game against Bahrain because Iraq style of playing is very similar to Bahrain’s,” Queiroz had said in a press conference before the match.

In the last camp in South Africa, Iran failed to arrange friendly international matches against quality opponents, just playing with 3 different South African league teams. Both Iraq and Iran teams have set camps early in Australia as an acclimatization program.

Iran had a new arrangement in front of its Iraqi rival. Queiroz used mostly young players in the game, many of whom wore for the first time the national team’s jersey. However, their fine performance in the warm-up game suggested a strong team ready to gain another glory for the country.

 Better Team

Iran was the better team in the first half and created some chances. Starting the second half, Iranian players tried to maintain possession and dominated the game, and as a result of their fine performance, finally in the 56th minute, Rubin Kazan striker Sardar Azmoun scored Iran’s and the game’s, only goal.

With the goal, Iraq put Iran under pressure creating some chances. Just after the hour-mark, Iraq captain Younis Mahmoud failed to score his best chance and missed a penalty. Five minutes later, he just hit the bar to regret for the equalizer he could not take.

The 3-time cup holder Iran has been drawn in Group C along with Bahrain, the UAE and Qatar. Head-coached by the well-known Portuguese Carlos Queiroz, Iran is determined to show its best to win its fourth title after so many years and prove itself as the first powerhouse in Asia once more.

Iran has held fewer friendly games compared with other favorites of the tournament like Japan, Australia and South Korea but it is viewed as one of the main contenders to win the tournament.

The 2015 AFC Asian Cup will kick off in Australia on January 9. As for its first group match, according to the program, Iran will face Bahrain on January 11.

 

Financialtribune.com