Iran, UAE eye Asian Cup last eight
Iran have the Asian Cup quarter-finals in their sights on Thursday as they take on a Qatar side who are fighting to stay in the tournament.
Sydney: Iran have the Asian Cup quarter-finals in their sights on Thursday as they take on a Qatar side who are fighting to stay in the tournament.
Carlos Queiroz`s Iran are favourites to top Group C after beating Bahrain 2-0 in their first game, while Qatar`s campaign was rocked by a 4-1 loss to UAE.
But ex-Bolton Wanderers midfielder Andranik Teymourian said Team Melli would not be taking the Gulf Cup champions lightly in the match at 8:00 pm (0900 GMT) in Sydney.
"They (Qatar) lost the first game against UAE and they`re going to try their absolute best tomorrow to achieve the result because tomorrow`s going to be the final chance," Teymourian said.
"If they want to qualify for the second round, they need to come up with the best performance tomorrow."
Both teams have the luxury of a fully fit squad with Iran`s Teymourian declared healthy despite missing a training session.
Qatar coach Djamel Belmadi said it was a "decisive" match -- but that the task was not beyond his team, which won the Gulf Cup in November.
"I know this group that I have. I chose them and I know that we are able to change things and I know that we can do much much better, even when things look difficult, for some people impossible. For us it`s not impossible," he said.
The UAE are also hoping for a win over Bahrain in Canberra as they try to join Australia, South Korea and China in the last eight.
Bahrain must get something from the match at 6:00 pm if they are to have any chance of progressing from the group, after their 2-0 loss to Iran in their first game.