Iran Ready to Celebrate Qualification for 2022 FIFA World Cup
- January, 27, 2022 - 13:06
- Sports news
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran could celebrate qualification to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 on Thursday if it beats neighbor Iraq when the two sides lock horns at Azadi Stadium in Group A of the AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar.
Unbeaten in Group A, host Iran leads the group with 16 points, two ahead of second placed Korea Republic and a whole 10 points clear of the UAE in third.
Meanwhile, Iraq is yet to celebrate its first win in the group, and languish in fifth place with four points.
A home win against its arch rival would put coach Dragan Skocic’s men at least 10 points clear of third place with just nine points remaining to compete for, confirming a place at the FIFA World Cup for the third time in a row for Team Melli.
All hope is not lost for the Lions of Mesopotamia, who remain just two points adrift of the playoff qualifying third place currently occupied by the UAE, and a win on Thursday could see them leapfrog the Emiratis with three games to go.
Porto FC striker Mehdi Taremi returns to Skocic’s squad after missing out last time, while several players tested positive for COVID-19, the-afc.com reported.
The two sides met in the reverse fixture back in September, and Team Melli came out comfortable 3-0 winner, but a lot has changed since that match for the Lions of Mesopotamia, who has appointed former head coach Dick Advocaat’s assistant Zeljko Petrovic with a mission to revive the 2007 AFC Asian Cup champion’s fortunes.