Iran winning in Asian Cup on and off field

Jan 15, 2015 - 6:26 PM Iran are winning on and off the field at the Asian Cup, with midfielder Andranik Teymourian declaring his unbeaten team are enjoying the biggest support at the tournament outside of the Socceroos.

Both man-of-the-match Teymourian and coach Carlos Quieroz made special mention of their team's supporters after Iran booked a quarter-final spot with a 1-0 win over Qatar in Sydney on Thursday night.

Quieroz lamented the fact his team didn't score more, especially after having a lot of late counter-attack chances, and acknowledged they needed to be clinical in future games, starting with next Monday's top-of-the-group decider against United Arab Emirates.

"We will try and score more goals, because the goals could make the difference between a win or a draw," said Quieroz, whose side trail UAE by one on goal difference, with both teams on six points after two games.

He dedicated Thursday's win to the Iranian fans, while Teymourian described them as the team's 12th man at their first two games in Melbourne and Sydney.

"I want to thank all the Iranians in Australia supporting the team and the fact that we have the second biggest supporter (base) after the Socceroos in Australia," Teymourian said through an interpreter.

"It's an absolute privilege for the players."

Defender Jalal Hosseini said "it felt like a home game," while forward Ashkan Dejagah described tha fans as "amazing", acknowledging some had travelled from other Australian cities.

Quieroz offered a polite "no comment" when asked if it would be good to see female fans allowed to watch the team play back in Iran.

Qatar coach Djamal Belmadi said Iran's fans hadn't influenced the game, but acknowledged their presence.

"But for sure it's better to have the fans with you than against you," Belmadi said.

"It's good for Iran that they can have this support from the fans, it's always good far from your country, away from home.

"It's nice for them, it can help, but I don't believe today it was the major reason for our loss."

Despite his side's early exit from the tournament, following their recent Gulf Cup win, Belmadi was still optimistic about their future.

"Among this group I see a lot of young players, they have quality, and if we take care of them we can have a better team, especially for the qualification for the next World Cup," Belmadi said.

Source: AAP

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