AFC Asian Cup: Iran, Oman cautious but ready for fight in last 16 match

 

AFC Asian Cup: Iran, Oman cautious but ready for fight in last 16 match
Iran's coach Carlos Queiroz gives his instructions during the match against Yemen.

Abu Dhabi - Iran's skipper Shojaei said the players were prepared for this crucial clash

By Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Sun 20 Jan 2019, 8:45 PM

Last updated: Sun 20 Jan 2019, 9:14 PM

Iran and Oman are prepared for the knockout round of the AFC Asian Cup and both hope they don't commit a costly mistake that see they lose.
Iran head coach Carlos Queiroz said it will be an even game with no favourites.
"Oman have been doing very well. I am impressed with their last three performances. So we are on alert. We have our own capabilities and dreams. It will be 50-50. We need to put full energy and concentration."
Queiroz noted there were no second chances in the Round of 16.
"Things can change in seconds. There is everything for the winner and nothing for the loser. There is no room for mistakes, regrets, sorry and there are no tomorrows. It's just 90 minutes to play the best football with great character."
The coach noted he treats football in a simple way and it has helped players too.
"I am not a coach who intellectualise. Football is simple. Everything we do on the field is simple. Get the ball, control, pass and score goal. When we don't have the ball, we defend. It's simple."
Skipper Masoud Shojaei said the players were prepared for this do-or-die.
"We always have great respect for Oman. We have analysed Oman in last three games. We are here to play seven finals and now it will be our fourth."
Meanwhile, Oman coach Pim Verbeek said the players will be fully focused for the entire 90 minutes as they play their first R16 match.
"We will do everything to enter the next round. We know it will not be easy with the quality of Iranian players. But we will fight till the last second. We are completely focused on our strong points and weak links in Iran team. We shouldn't lose concentration like in game against Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. You lose organisation and in 5-10 seconds, the opponent score. Irani defenders are strong and don't give any chances. But we have to play our game and convert from chances we make. We have to score as much as possible but let's start with one goal."
Midfielder Ahmed Mubarak Al Mahaijri said the players were in good spirits for the historic game
"It's time for us to make history. Iranians are very strong but we have also proved ourselves. The games will be difficult for both of us but we are very motivated," Ahmed added.
Iran-Oman actions starts by 9 pm at Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi and the winner moves into the quarterfinal.
ashwani@khaleejtimes.com


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