News ID: 170820
Published: 0733 GMT October 23, 2016

Iran, its coach only focused on match against Uzbekistan in AFC U-19 meet

Iran, its coach only focused on match against Uzbekistan in AFC U-19 meet

Iran's Coach Amir Peirovani and his players will be focusing only on the threat posed by Uzbekistan when the teams meet in the quarterfinals today at the AFC U-19 Championship Bahrain 2016; as Iran seeks to return to the finals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup for the first time in 16 years.

Victory will see the Iranians qualify for the global championship for the first time since 2001, when they advanced after finishing as runners-up to Iraq in the AFC U-19 Championship in Iran, but Peirovani has told his players to look to the future rather than casting glances back at history, reported.

“We’re not thinking about the past, or about last year or two or three years ago,” said Peirovani. “We are only thinking about today and we are one of the best teams in the competition and we are ready.

“Maybe four, five or six years ago we had a chance to go but we were unlucky, but we are ready and we are only thinking about good tactics, good technique and fair play.”

Iran advanced to the last eight by finishing second in Group C behind Japan and, as a result, has had one day’s extra rest compared to the Uzbeks, who won Group D despite being held to a 0-0 draw by China in their final group game on Friday evening.

Peirovani, however, does not believe the extra day between games will give his side an advantage.

“It’s the program of the AFC and we have one day more rest, but it’s not very important. When we started the tournament we were ready for six matches, maybe two days’ rest or three days’ rest so it’s not important. We have had some good training and we will be 100 percent ready for the competition against Uzbekistan,” said the Iranian coach.

Uzbekistan coach Jasur Abduraimov made wholesale changes to his starting lineup for his team's meeting with China, switching nine of the players who had won the previous game 3-2 against Australia.

Defender Islomjon Kobilov will be available again after he was suspended for the China clash following his sending off for a second bookable offense against the young Socceroos and Abduraimov is expected to field a side more closely resembling the one that defeated the Australians.

“Tomorrow we will play against one of the strongest and best teams in this competition,” said Abduraimov. “We know Iran is physically strong and it has shown beautiful football with good tactics, so we expect a difficult and interesting game.

“I made the changes yesterday because first of all I wanted to give them some days to relax before the important game, and secondly it’s important to check all of the players. We have 22 players in our squad and we need to check their condition.”

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