Iran’s Women Football to Face Asian Most Successful Team China

Iran’s Women Football to Face Asian Most Successful Team China

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 newcomer Iran is set to take on the most successful team in the competition’s history, but Maryam Irandoost is confident her side can challenge China when they meet at the Mumbai Football Arena on Sunday.

Team Melli Banovan played the role of spoilers to India’s opening night party on Thursday, defending resolutely, and relying on goalkeeping heroics from Zohreh Koudaei to earn a historic 0-0 draw in Navi Mumbai.

In addition to giving the Iranians their first AFC Women’s Asian Cup point, the result engendered a belief that they can compete with the continent’s top sides.

Few teams in Asia come better than China and no one can boast a better record in this competition, with the Steel Roses lifting the trophy no less than eight times between 1986 and 2006 and laying a marker down for a potential ninth title with a 4-0 win over Chinese Taipei on Thursday.

But Irandoost has an unflinching belief in her side’s potential and made a bold prediction about Sunday’s clash.

“We know that China is one of the most powerful teams in Asia and in this competition, but from what I have seen (against India), I believe we can stop China from scoring,” she said.

“Maybe now we're a bit tired, but I have faith in my team and believe that we can qualify from the group stage.”

Despite Iran’s rapid improvement in the women’s game, they will go into Sunday’s game as the less fancied of the two teams, particularly given the ease with which Shui Qingxia’s side dispatched Chinese Taipei on Thursday.

The Chinese and Iranian women’s national teams have never met at the senior level, with Irandoost’s side becoming the 59th opponent to face the Steel Roses in international play.

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