Iranians Look Forward to Us Winning Title: Jahanbakhsh

Iranians Look Forward to Us Winning Title: Jahanbakhsh

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran will be appearing in the AFC Asian Cup semi-finals for the second tournament in a row after Saturday’s sensational 2-1 victory over Japan and Alireza Jahanbakhsh says that the Iranian fans look forward to them winning the 2023 AFC Asian Cup.

Jahanbakhsh said how defeat at the same stage in 2019 will motivate his team against Qatar.

“As a country, football is always alive in Iran,” Jahanbakhsh told the day after his nerveless spot-kick completed Iran’s come-from-behind win over the Samurai Blue.

“It’s the first sport in the country, there’s always expectations. There’s always pressure. That’s always been there, for different generations all the way through to us.

“But thankfully I think the generation we have right now is a mix of great players individually and great players with good experience as well, and this mix of these two helps us to combine to have a good performance.

“From the experience we have from 2019 in the UAE we know you’re not there until you’re there. We know how important this game is in the semis. This generation have big dreams. We want to show that we’re the best generation in Iranian football. This is the time.

“In the World Cup it’s always been the expectation that we make it through from the group stage, but at the Asian Cup it’s always been different,” said Jahanbakhsh. “The Iranian fans look forward to us winning prizes with the national team.

“We know how big the pressure is, we know how big the expectation is, but at the same time we are cool in the head, big in the heart and when it comes to our pride, we’re always there and we fight for our country and our people.

“We showed against Japan that we did that very well. We played with our hearts and we’ll make sure we do that in the next games to finish the tournament in the best way possible.”

“Being part of the semi-finals is a big thing,” he said. “The run we’ve had over the last games has had some ups and downs. We started the tournament really well (with a 4-0 win over Palestine).

“Against Hong Kong wasn’t our best performance but against the UAE and Syria we became better, and our top performance was against Japan. That gives us extra confidence that we can do big things in this tournament and achieve our dreams,” he added.

“Playing the semifinals against Qatar, they’re a well-respected team, I always respect them as one of the good teams in Asia. They’ve been doing great over the last years and the development of the country and the football, it’s been great.

“It’s going to be a tough game but hopefully the great result against Japan will give us confidence for the next game.

Most Visited in Sports
Top Sports stories
Top Stories