Published: Mon, June 18, 2018
Sports | By Angie Alvarado

Iran have chance of beating Morocco: Carlos Queiroz

Iran have chance of beating Morocco: Carlos Queiroz

"But I can tell you, as a footballer, we don't compare diplomatic and political problems to sports".

That terrible mistake, to the astonishment of more than 62,500 audiences in Saint Petersburg Stadium, put a seal on the first match in Group B, as well as Morocco's unbeaten record of 18 games.

Before Friday evening's match, fans from Iran and Morocco mingled on the streets of St. Petersburg, wearing their countries' flags, blowing whistles and chanting songs without any animosity.

"What can happen once in a while is a group of people, when they are united, we can create super stories and super things".

While Bouhaddouz buried his face in the turf and was consoled by some teammates, there was an explosion of joy among the Iran squad as coaching staff and substitutes sprinted onto the field and jumped for joy.

Morocco were well and truly on top in the first half, registering eight shots to two and maintaining 70 percent of possession inside the first half hour of play. I've said " he said.

Iran will now go into their next clash against Spain full of confidence, having put themselves in the best position possible to advance to the knockout rounds for the first time in their history.

Queiroz was keen not to be drawn on the Spain and Julen Lopetegui saga that has dominated the build-up in Group B, where he maintains his team are the outsiders.

Greece and Kosovo cancelled scheduled friendlies in Istanbul during Iran's pre-tournament preparations and Queiroz had criticised Nike's decision to stop supplying boots just before the tournament started.

Players get used to their sports equipment, and it's not right to change them a week before such important matches. Following its dramatic opening game victory over Morocco, several players and head coach Carlos Queiroz criticized the American sportswear giant over its stance.

The onslaught finally eased after half an hour and by the interval Iran had not only survived but finished the stronger, Sardar Azmoun, the "Iranian Messi", spurning a one-on-one after a scintillating break. Team Melli was the first to arrive in Russian Federation, and did it in style.

Queiroz and Renard were involved in a touchline scuffle, quickly resolved, before the real drama arrived in the 95th minute. Yet that was exactly the case in Sochi this evening, Bouhaddouz' own goal coming in the 95th minute of action.

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