Victorious Iran Thrilled by Travelling Support
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - They came, they saw, and the majority of the 18,000 crowd at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium on Sunday went home happy.
Following on from Friday’s sold out tournament opener between hosts Australia and Kuwait at the home of A-League sides Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City, 17,712 spectators braved a blustery evening to watch three-time AFC Asian Cup winners Iran take on Bahrain.
And with goals from Ehsan Hajsafi and Masoud Shojaei securing a 2-0 win for Team Melli in front of a vibrant and energetic crowd, a large proportion of fans who attended in the colours of Carlos Queiroz’s side enjoyed Iran’s first game in Australia since their famous 1998 FIFA World Cup qualifier in 1997.
“Thankfully we could perform very well and we just experienced our opening game with a victory. That is a great start for us in the tournament,” said Hajsafi, who plays in Iran with Sepahan.
“I am personally very glad because we achieved this victory with all the fans present in the stadium, and all the fans are happy.”
Portuguese coach Queiroz had raised some question marks over Iran’s chances in Australia following a disjointed build-up, but after surviving a slow start on Sunday, the three-time winners fully deserved their ranking as Asia’s number one side, the official website of 2015 Asian Cup reported.
And Iran will look to continue that form on Thursday in Sydney against Gulf Cup champions Qatar, who suffered a 4-1 defeat by the United Arab Emirates in Group C earlier on Sunday.
“We were very delighted with all the support we received in the stadium,” said Iran midfielder Andranik Teymourian.
“We made all our supporters very happy and I hope we can make them happy again in the second game against Qatar.”