Alireza Beiranvand Happy to Advance as Group Winner: Asian Cup
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran national football team goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand is happy to qualify for Round of 16 of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup as group winner.
Iran was held to a goalless draw by Iraq in Group D on Wednesday at the Asian Cup group stage and booked a place in the knockout stage as the group winner.
“Our people wanted us to beat Iraq and there was a lot of pressure on us on social media – they said these are the guys that eliminated you,” admitted the Player of the Match.
“However, we wanted to play our usual game and be completely focused on not conceding first. In the end, we won the group, and this was what we were looking for.
“Everyone expected us to finish first and now we expect to perform even better in each game going forward. When you finish top of a group, you are considered a tough opponent by the other teams,” he stated.
“We knew Iraq didn’t want to lose to Iran. We should have taken our opportunities in the first half but, unfortunately, we didn’t,” added Beiranvand.
“But both teams will be happy, because neither of us lost in our last game. Thankfully, we’re done with the group stage, have qualified and have performed well in our games – something the players really strived for.
“We might be the only team that has made four or five changes every game. This proves that we have two teams; everyone plays for the national team and gives their best,” Beiranvand concluded.