By Masoud Hossein

Iran’s mission not yet accomplished

June 8, 2021 - 16:40

TEHRAN – It’s not good time for celebration since Iran football team’s mission has not yet accomplished. The victory over Bahrain has boosted Iran’s hopes of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup qualification Third Round but the Dragan Skocic’s side need two more wins against Cambodia and Iraq.

Iran showed a glittering performance against solid Bahrain and won the match 3-0 on their soil but they will have to beat Cambodia and Iraq to secure their place in the third round.

Iran, as one of the Asian giants, have a chance to qualify for the next stage, where a total of 12 teams will play for 4.5 places in the 2020 FIFA World Cup.

Iran had already defeated Cambodia 14-0 and the East Asian team are not a team to beat but Iraq have defeated Iran 2-1 in the first leg. It could be a difficult match for Skocic and his men.

Iran, undoubtedly, are a better team than Iraq but we have to remember the better teams don’t always win.

Skocic should use a different lineup for the match against Cambodia on Friday. Iran have several talented players including Mehdi Ghaedi, Mehdi Torabi, Majid Hosseini, Jafar Salmani and Danial Esmaeilifar.

The main players need to rest for the vital match against Iraq, slated for June 15. After a win against strong Iraq, the Iranian players are allowed to celebrate but at the moment, the team members must concentrate on what lies ahead of them.

Iran benefit from the players who are the best in their leagues. Sardar Azmoun, who netted a brace against Bahrain, was recently chosen as the best player of the Russian Premier Liga in the 2020-2021 season.

Mehdi Taremi was one of the iconic players of Porto in the previous season and Persepolis players Vahid Amiri, Mehdi Torabi, Ahmad Nourollahi and Hossein Kanaanizadegan qualified for the 2021 AFC Champions League and it means the golden generation has the potential to do the great job.  

Skocic was under pressure since he was named as Iran coach but in the previous matches the Croat has proved that he is a right man to lead the ‘Persian Leopards’.

Skocic knows very well the Iranian players and it’s one of the reasons he does his job in the best possible way.

The mission has not yet accomplished. Iran must defeat Cambodia and Iraq in their next two matches and it’s not an ‘Impossible Mission’ for them. BUT, we have to remember that Iraq prevented Japan to qualify for the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the last match of the tournament.

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