May 27, 2024
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PFDC – TEHRAN, Iran coach Carlos Queiroz lauded his side’s fighting spirit and pointed out the result would display the difference in quality between the two sides, in the press conference after Team Melli thrashed a helpless Lebanese side 5-0 in an Asian qualifier in Azadi stadium on Wednesday.

A brace from Reza Ghoochannejhad and a hattrick from skipper Javad Nekounam were a sweet revenge for the 0-1 defeat in a World Cup qualifier in Beirut last year, a game in which Lebanon survived with ultra-defensive playing style, luck and time-wasting.

“I appreciate the effort from my players; they kept fighting and never gave up. We were able to highlight the gap between Iranian and Lebanese football,” the Portugese is quoted by the AFC’s official homepage.

“After we lost at home to Uzbekistan we needed to do something to relieve the pressure and we were able to beat Lebanon 5-0 which will alleviate the negative atmosphere.

“I opted to substitute Ashkan Dejagah and Mojtaba Jabbari for two less experienced players as we had already achieved the result and I wanted to give the opportunity to some of the young players.”

Meanwhile Lebanon boss Theo Bucker, who had vowed his side would be all but scared of Iran ahead of the game, tried to find the words to describe his disappointment.

“We didn’t travel here to win, a single point from the tie would have been enough, but the way the game played out caught me off guard,” he said.

“We lost concentration after both penalties and we were unable to get it back.”

Iran will next travel to Kuwait, who defeated Thailand in Bangkok 3-1 today, in March while Lebanon will host Thailand.