2022 WCQ: Iran looks to cement place at top of Group A

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Tasnim – TEHRAN, Iran is going to cement its place at top of Group A of the 2022 World Cup qualification Round 3 when it hosts South Korea in Tehran’s Azadi Stadium on Tuesday.

The Korea Republic has never won in Iran, but Paulo Bento’s side will see Tuesday’s top-of-the-table AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar clash as the perfect time to put that record right.

Seven times the Korea Republic men’s national team has ventured to Tehran, and a pair of draws – in 1977 and 2009 – are the best it has ever got for a team that has historically been one of Asia’s giants.

The last three visits to the famed Azadi Stadium have all yielded 1-0 defeats, and it has been six matches across 10 years since the Koreans have gotten the better of Team Melli at any venue.

With seven of a possible nine points accrued from three successive home games, and with attacking weapons like Son Heung-min and Hwang Hee-chan in tow, Bento and co will be hoping the 2021 visit to the Iranian capital is the one which ends a decades-long drought, but they will arrive to find a star-studded and in-form opponent.

Dragan Skocic has set a perfect record of 10 wins from as many matches since took the head coach role at the outset of 2021. Iran will hold no fear, even if the Azadi Stadium will remain empty, the-afc.com wrote.

Three wins from three and no goals conceded in the Final Round underlines Team Melli’s strength at the back as well as up front and extends a remarkable run that has seen the team conceded only seven goals in its last 25 Asian Qualifiers matches.

That victory puts Team Melli, even at this early stage, within sight of a third successive FIFA World Cup appearance.

With nine points, the Iranians are two ahead of Korea Republic and seven clear of a chasing pack featuring UAE, Lebanon and Syria, meaning a draw or defeat on Tuesday would not derail their campaign, but a victory would represent a major accomplishment on an increasingly smooth Road to Qatar.


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