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Qatar V Iran
STADIUM AUSTRALIA, SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES, 15 JANUARY 2015
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|1||SHOTS ON GOAL||7|
Qatar will be looking to keep their Asian Cup hopes alive when they take on Asian powerhouse Iran at Stadium Australia. Join us on The Roar from 8:00pm (AEDT) for live scores and commentary.
Despite a positive pre-season for Qatar, a disappointing thrashing against the UAE in Canberra in their opening fixture sees them enter Stadium Australia in desperation mode, and face no easy talk when they take on an in-form Iranian side looking to continue their impressive from in front of thousands of their fans.
Midfielder Khalfan Ibrahim scored the opening the goal in the Qatari’s disappointing loss, and the skipper will be looking to inspire his side to a shock win against Iran, and add to his goal-tally in the process.
With a negative goal difference of minus-three, manager Djamel Belmadi knows that his side cannot afford to drop points against a strong Iranian side at Stadium Australia.
A positive start to the Iranian Asian Cup campaign sees them placed second on the Group C rankings, just under the UAE on goal difference by one goal. After a somewhat shaky start in front of thousands of their screaming fans, the Iranians finally managed to find their rhythm. They defeated an unimpressive Bahrain side by two goals to nil, goals from Ehsan Hajsafi and Masoud Shojaei sealing the win.
The Iranians could have won by a lot more, but several questionable offside decisions deemed their efforts redundant, much to the dismay of manager Carlos Queiroz. Queiroz will be hoping his men can emulate their performance against Bahrain when they take on Qatar.
Striker Reza Ghoochannejhad was on the receiving end of the offside decisions, but will be looking to finally get his name on the goal-scoring tally against the Qataris.
The last time these two teams locked horns was back in a World Cup Qualification match in 2013, where a sixty-sixth minute goal from top-scorer Reza Ghoochannejhad saw Iran beat the Qataris by a single goal to nil in a hard fought match.
Despite these two teams being virtually equal against one another in the past, Iran seem like a much stronger side now and should be able to add another three points next their name on the Group C table.
My prediction: Qatar 0 – 1 Iran
Can Qatar keep their Asian Cup dreams alive, or will Iran edge closer to a spot in the Quarter-Finals. Join us on The Roar from 8:00pm AEDT to find out.