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Asian Cup 2015: Iran Advances After Win Against Qatar

Iranian fans at Stadium Australia in Sydney during the match Iran vs Qatar. Mostafa Azizpour

Iranian fans at Stadium Australia in Sydney during the match Iran vs Qatar. Photo by Mostafa Azizpour used with permission.

Iran's 1-0 win against Qatar secured them a place in the quarterfinals, making the team one of the favourites to reach the Asian Cup 2015 finals.

Team “Melli” (Melli means “national” in Farsi) has not been playing a “beautiful” game but is being effective when it comes to putting the ball in the net. However, Iran created a couple of opportunities and could have scored at least one more goal in the 1 – 0 match against Qatar held at Stadium Australia in Sydney and counting for the 2015 edition of the football Asian Cup tournament. 

Portuguese national Carlos Queiroz, Iran`s coach during press conference at Stadium Australia.

Portuguese national Carlos Queiroz, Iran`s coach during press conference at Stadium Australia. Photo by Mostafa Azizpour used with permission.

Carlos Queiroz`s squad started this Asian Cup 2015 with a 2-0 victory against Bahrain, taking its first three points. Iran plays in group C alongside with UAE, Bahrain, and Qatar.

Queiroz, a Portuguese national, has had a long career as coach for the Portuguese national team, Manchester United and Real Madrid, to name a few. The Professor, as he often called by the Portuguese media, took the challenge from Iran`s Football Federation leading the Persians to the last World Cup in Brazil where they faced colossal Argentina and didn`t  move on to the knockout stage.

The Asian Cup is an international competition of 16 football teams from Asia, run by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The winner of this competition automatically qualifies for the FIFA Confederations Cup.

Stadium Australia in Sydney has a capacity of 85K seats, of which more than 22.5K were taken and the majority by Persian fans including many women – Iranian women are fighting to overturn the ban to attend sports events in Iran:

Josephine Kneipp noted the strong Iranian presence at the stadium:

Australian photographer Keith McInnes tweeted a photo of Iranian fans who had come to the stadium to watch their football heroes live: 

The Iranian fans were a lively bunch, Twitter users said: 

A warm summer night only added to the match, already full of excitement. Final result: Team Melli beat Qatar by one goal. Sardar Azmoun booked Iran's passage into the Asian Cup quarterfinals by scoring the only goal of the match. Iran has now six points and is second on Group C, following UAE also with six points.

This year´s Asian Cup is hosted by Australia for the first time since they joined the Confederation in 2007. They are also favourites to win, as are Japan, Iran and South Korea.

The 2015 tournament is notable for the debut of the Palestine National Team. Palestine qualified after winning the AFC Challenge Cup, their first major trophy. They are placed in group D, alongside Japan, Jordan and Iraq.

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