Iran boss Queiroz quiet on Spain's coaching debacle

Marcus Newton
June 17, 2018

Morocco´s fans, at a World Cup for the first time in 20 years, belted out their own national anthem and then applauded Iran´s, the 67,000-seater arena a sea of red and white, and buzzing with the hum of vuvuzelas in a throwback to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Iran defeated Morocco 1-0 in a Group B match on Friday evening, earning their second ever win in World Cup history, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

Morocco, who enjoyed more possession throughout, began in aggressive fashion, taking the game to their opponents and overloading their right flank as they targeted Hajsafi.

Morocco and Iran boast strong defensive records heading into their opening game at the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg.

"Our strategy was, from the first minute, to create a mental collapse in the Moroccan players, we try to do that by creating frustration and block all the playmakers and the players who can create something".

He'll relish the chance to come up against the country of his birth in Iran's final group game, but this opening match may present something of a problem for Iran as they will have to go out and attack.

Led by Juventus center back Mehdi Benatia, Morocco came through qualifying without conceding a goal and have four wins and a draw in their last five matches.

"Superman is only in the cartoons", Queiroz said.

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The "Atlas Lions" will be hoping that Monaco winger Nabil Dirar is fit to start.

"That is something that unfortunately this brand did and, well, it's their responsibility to do such a thing but the image they have [projected] at least for 80 million people in Iran is not a really nice image".

This will be Morocco's fifth World Cup Appearance and their first in 20-years.

During qualifying they were unbeaten in 10 qualifiers and did not concede a goal in the first nine games.

"After so many years in this business, the first game of a World Cup is always hard and tough and this was no different - but it was also handsome", Iran coach Queiroz said of the country's second-ever World Cup win.

Iran have kept a clean sheet in only one of their last 12-games at the World Cup. But sometimes you have to take one for the team. And Iran made the most of it.

A late own goal by substitute Aziz Bouhaddouz broke Moroccan hearts in St Petersburg and sent Iran into raptures as they celebrated their second win at a World Cup with unrestrained joy.

The Netherlands may have failed to qualify for the World Cup, but they will not be without representation. We have been giving a lot of thought to the Iran team and I think we have reached the right level in our preparations.

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