Iran defeats Thailand in 2015 Asia qualifier

Iran’s Reza Qouchannezhad cheers after scoring a goal against Thailand at Azadi stadium in Tehran on October 15, 2013.

The Iranian national football team has edged past Thailand in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualification tourney.

Team Melli beat the Thais 2-1 in a Group B match at Azadi stadium in Tehran on Tuesday.

Jalal Hosseini scored the opener at the 67th minute and Reza Qouchannezhad tapped in a second shortly afterwards.

Thai striker Teerasil Dangda managed to pull one back ten minutes before the final whistle but at the end the hosts picked up the win to solidify their place on top of the group with seven points from three games.

“We came to Tehran to get at least one point to give us something to build on for our return match in Bangkok but things didn’t proceed as we expected… Now, we have to use all our chances in the best way possible at home to try to get a point. But Iran are an Asian powerhouse, who have already qualified for the World Cup and so the return match will also be difficult for us,” said Thailand’s head coach Surachai Jaturapattarapong.

Despite the victory, Iran’s Portuguese head coach Carlos Queiroz was not satisfied with performance of his team, which has not played any international games since a 1-0 win against South Korea in a World Cup qualifier in June.

“I think after four months without preparations and friendlies, it was natural to see our team put out a dull performance in the first period when there was an obvious lack of organization. However, our players gradually got better and they improved all the way through the match to the end,” Queiroz said, adding, “For sure, it was not a good game for us and also the result did not exactly show the effort we put into the game as we missed a couple of very good chances and Thailand’s goal was an accident.”

“Tonight’s match should be regarded as a wake-up call for Iranian football as there is no football team in the world who can survive after staying four complete months in the absolute wilderness,” Queiroz noted.

Iran is currently on top of its group with two points above Kuwait, which drew with host Lebanon 1-1 in another match of the day in the capital Beirut.

By Press TV


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