AFC – SEOUL, As the global stars of tomorrow descend on six cities throughout the Korea Republic for the FIFA U-20 World Cup, the-AFC.com takes a look at the Asian side, Iran, taking a shot at glory.
*This will be the 21st edition of the FIFA U-20 World Cup
Islamic Republic of Iran
Group C (Costa Rica, May 21, Seogwipo; Zambia, May 24, Seogwipo; Portugal, May 27, Incheon)
Appearing in the tournament for only the third time in history, and the first time since 2001, the Islamic Republic of Iran find themselves in an intriguing group featuring African champions Zambia, along with Costa Rica and Portugal.
Should they manage to register a win, or even score, in the tournament, it will end a forty-year drought since beating Cote d’Ivoire 3-0 back in 1977.
This generation of young Iranian talent qualified by virtue of their semi-final appearance at the 2016 AFC U-19 Championship in Bahrain, where Saipa’s Reza Jafari was the star with three goals.
Iran’s progression to the final four was largely the result of a miserly defence which conceded only once in the first four matches of the tournament, but it was the way they exited the competition which lives in the memory, as they lost 6-5 in an epic semi-final against Saudi Arabia.
With the likes of talented defender Abolfazl Razzaghpour and livewire forward set to feature along Jafari, head coach Amirhossein Peiravani’s charges should not be taken lightly by their Group C opponents.