April 22, 2024
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Tehran Times – DOHA, Iran national football team coach Amir Ghalenoei is expecting a difficult match against Palestine in the 2023 AFC Asian Cup.

Team Melli will have to face Palestine on Sunday in Group C. This will be the first meeting between two teams in the AFC Asian Cup.

“Palestine have shown that they are a strong defensive team and we have a difficult task ahead. Iran are well-prepared for the Asian Cup as well and we want to achieve the great thing in the competition because our people deserved the best,” Ghalenoei said in the pre-match news conference.

“The Iranian players are responsible for their people and will do their best to make them happy. Since I was appointed as Team Melli coach, I tried to build solidarity in the team and we are a united team at the moment.

“Every game is like a final for us in the competition. The football has improved in Asia over the years and three Asian teams advanced to the knockout stage in the 2022 FIFA World Cup. I led Iran national team in the 2007 AFC Asian Cup but I have to say this edition is not comparable to 2007,” he added.

Ghalenoei also hailed Alireza Beiranvand as a player who can play a key role in his team’s success in the Asian Cup.

“A reliable goalkeeper is better than a good parent. Argentina’s Emiliano Martinez saved Randal Kolo Muani’s strike in the final minutes of the 2022 FIFA World Cup final and then he helped his team beat France in penalty shootout,” Ghalenoei concluded.