Iran will qualify for World Cup knockout stage: Karim Ansarifard

June 23, 2018

MOSCOW – Iran national football team striker Karim Ansarifard believes Team Melli will defeat Portugal and qualify for the 2018 World Cup knockout stage.

Despite their defeat against La Roja, Iran's fate is still in their own hands. Whatever happens in Spain's final group match against Morocco, the Iranians know that a win over Portugal will see them into the round of 16.

“We’ve learned so many things from the previous World Cup and know how to play Portugal in this edition,” Ansarifard said.

“Iran is led by the best coach in the world and he has taught us how to fight against our opponents. He has helped us a lot and we are ready to defeat Portugal in our last group match,” he added.

Iran lost to Spain in Group B but Ansarifard says Iran played well and didn’t deserve to lose.

“After conceding the goal, we created so many chances. We did our best but I think we were not lucky at the end of the match. We will fight for our pride in the match against Portugal,” Olympiakos striker added.

“Our strategy against Spain was to defend and we wanted to find the back of their net through the counter attack. We also created some scoring chances but lacked the cutting edge,” the former Persepolis striker added.

“Portugal team have many stars but we can defeat them as a team,” Ansarifard concluded.

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