Time to face 'big shark' Japan, says Queiroz
Iran's coach Carlos Queiroz noted now it was time to meet the favourites of Asian Cup - Japan.
Abu Dhabi - Prolific scorer Mehdi Taremi will miss the match
By Ashwani Kumar
Published: Fri 25 Jan 2019, 10:00 PM
Last updated: Sat 26 Jan 2019, 12:05 AM
Iran breezed into the semifinals of the AFC Asian Cup with 3-0 China rout and will face Japan - a team coach Carlos Queiroz termed the 'big shark'.
"Chinese were a very difficult and organised side. Our approach was not only to play our game but it was a huge effort from my players to force them to make mistakes and for us to take advantage of those mistakes. We knew we had to be fully alert for 90 minutes and my players exceeded their concentration level. Now we need to rest, recover well and be ready for the next game."
Queiroz noted now it was time to meet the favourites of Asian Cup - Japan.
"Now the big sharks will come for us. We need to raise our level from what we have played against China. We need to learn from our mistakes," he said and reiterated that 'Team Melli' were not the faves.
"The suit of favourites is not for us. We need to keep going with our humble attitude."
In a setback, Iran will miss services of prolific scorer Mehdi Taremi, who is suspended after a second yellow card. The coach said it was a big loss and made a request to the AFC in that aspect.
"Two yellow cards do not make a player a criminal. He cannot play and cannot go to the pitch, which is OK but him being blocked from the stadium isn't right. I make a humble appeal to the AFC to review the rule."Players cannot be treated as criminals."
He was also critical of the AFC implementing two different refereeing systems. Video assistant referee (VAR) is introduced only from quarterfinals.
"I have always supported use of VAR. But I don't think it is logical to have two different referee systems. We started with one and now switched to another," Queiroz added.
Iran will play Japan at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain on Monday (6 pm).