In what is perhaps the most anticipated game of this entire tournament, Iraq and Iran will write a new chapter in their legendary rivalry as they face off once again in the 2019 Asian
Iraq need a victory in order to go top, while a draw will see Iran take first place on goal difference. This the third time in a row that these two heavyweights have faced each other in the Asian Cup. The Lions knocked out their neighbours through penalties in the 2015 edition, to book a spot in the last four. However, Iran were victorious eight years ago so tomorrow’s (Wednesday) group finale is shaping up to be another tight affair.
Both teams have downplayed the importance of the match. Iranian striker Sardar Azmoun stated that “Iran are not looking for revenge” from their defeat in 2015. Meanwhile, Srecko Katanec has claimed that he will start with a second string side as he has his focus set on the round of 16. Both sets of fans regard this as must-win for their teams due to the intense footballing rivalry between the two countries, though.
Team Melli’s last victory against the Lions came in a 1-0 friendly win in 2015, while Iraq overcame them twice following that, with the last win coming in a friendly match in March of last year.
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