April 16, 2024
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TehranTimes – TEHRAN, Iran head coach Amir Ghalenoei has warned his side against making mistakes when they take on Syria in the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 Round of 16 at Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium on Wednesday.

Team Melli topped Group C with the full nine points, in the process scoring seven goals and conceding just two, but now face the challenge of a Syria team who were one of the most defensively sound sides of the group stage, having conceded only one goal in Group B, the-afc.com wrote.

“I think this is one of the most important matches in this tournament,” said Ghalenoei.

“We will face a team that is disciplined. We should make less mistakes and be tactically and technically better than in our previous two matches. We know that we can’t afford to make any mistakes, we saw Iraq and the UAE get eliminated, so we need to be very careful with our performance,” he added.

Iran are set to miss the services of two key defenders for Wednesday’s clash, but Ghalenoei remained confident in his squad’s ability to deliver, urging them to show their quality against a team that is difficult to break down.

“At this moment we don’t have Sadegh Moharrami and Morteza Pouraliganji, but not much else. All of the players we have and the squad we have now can be with us until the next World Cup, so we are not planning on making any generational shifts. Any changes will be gradual.”

“I think today football is all about lines and the structure of the team. Hector Cuper had the same style of football in Valencia and all his other teams. We changed the philosophy of the team from defensive to attacking and the stats in the group stage back this up.

“I hope the players can show their quality from a technical point of view. I always tell them that you always have to follow the tactical instructions from the coaching staff, but it is important that you show your individual technical abilities too,” Ghalenoei concluded.