Iran a huge challenge for Hong Kong: Mixu Paatelainen

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Tasnim – HONG KONG, Hong Kong head coach Mixu Paatelainen says that his team will have a daunting task against Iran in the 2022 World Cup qualifier.

The East Asian team will host Iran on September 10 at the Hong Kong Stadium.

Iraq and Bahrain are also in the group, with the pair meeting in Riffa on Thursday.

“We know if Iran have a match on September 5 or not they’re going to be a very good team to play against,” Paatelainen told the-afc. “That’s a huge challenge. They’re tall, they’re powerful, they’re quick, they’re technical, they’re tactically very good. They’ve got everything.”

“I’m not surprised they’re the highest ranked Asian team in the FIFA rankings, but it’s a different kind of challenge. I’m a very positive person and I also want to turn that around,” the Finn added.

“We’ve got two different matches coming up and I think that’s good because we can refresh the players’ mind.

“It’s a totally different set up and a totally different mindset and opponent and I think that’s good for the players’ heads, to reboot the system and concentrate on the next challenge. Iran’s a huge challenge but one we’ll gain plenty of excellent experience from facing,” Paatelainen concluded.

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