Iran has defeated United Arab Emirates 1-0 to win the group stage of the Asian cup Australia 2015. A late header by Reza Ghoochannejad put Carlos Queiroz's men on top of group C of the games in Brisbane on Monday.
The 91st-minute header gave Iran the maximum nine pints out of three matches in the Asian cup group stage. The UAE outfit, suffering their their first defeat of the competition, came second in the group.
The UAE had almost nothing to show in front of Iran's goal courtesy of a perfect cagey style by Queiroz's charges. Iran has still to concede a goal in the competition thanks to the hard defensive mentality injected into the team by the Portuguese tactician.
Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Sadar Azmoun could have put their name on the scoresheet, but it was Gucci who built on a fortuitous knock by Anderanik Teymourian to nudge the ball into the goal. The Charlton Athletic striker proved to be still a precious asset in Iran's weaponry despite rumors that he has lost his brilliance over the past few months.
Iran awaits quarters opponent
Iran should now wait until Tuesday to know which team will finish runner-up in group D where Japan is scheduled to face Jordan while Iraq plays Palestine. Iran's quarterfinal test will come in Canberra on Friday, where thousands of ardent Iranian fans are expected to fill the stadium and give Iran an advantage over the rival.
Queiroz had predicted a day earlier that the match would not end in a draw. However, Gucci's late stunner saved Iran from a potential encounter with the defending champion Japan. Iran is widely expected to face Iraq as the Arab team has a much better chance of progressing to the last eight.
In the other group C match on Monday, Bahrain overpowered Qatar 2-1 to finish third. the match had little to offer as the two Persian Gulf rivals were effectively eliminated from the competition at the end of day 2 of the group games.
... Payvand News - 01/19/15 ... --