Iran, the 14th guest at the World Cup

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC, for its acronym in English) already has its first guest via qualifiers to the Qatar World Cup 2022. This is the Iranian team, who won the ticket with three days to go on their continent and thus achieved their third World Cup participation in a row.

The Iranian team received the ticket during the first appointment FIFA 2022 when they played at home against Iraq, who defeated them 1-0 thanks to a goal from one of their biggest current stars, Porto striker Mehdi Taremi.

This goal was enough to keep Iran at the top of Group A of the Asian qualifiers and reach 19 points in seven games played, with an unbeaten record of six wins and one draw, as well as a goal difference of +10, the best of its entire continent.

In this way, the Iranian team will collect six entries in one World Cup, the last three in a row, as he has not been absent from the big event since South Africa 2010; It was present in Brazil 2014, Russia 2018 and now in Qatar.

Following Iran’s pace, there are already 14 countries that have qualified for the next World Cup: Qatar (host), Germany, Denmark, Brazil, France, Belgium, Croatia, Spain, Serbia, England, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Argentina.

It should be noted that the penultimate qualifying round is being played on the Asian continent, in which 12 countries are fighting for four and a half tickets. The format is by two groups with six representatives each and clashes in an all against all, so a total of 10 days are played starting in September and ending in March.

Iran is in Group A along with South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria. At the end of seven dates, the Iranians are leaders with 19 points, two more than South Korea, who will have to wait for match day 8 to win and ensure their direct passing, while third place is a play-off match against the third of the other group, which includes Japan, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Oman, China and Vietnam.

Iran’s first World Cup participation was in Argentina in 1978 and from there he had to wait 20 years for his second ticket, to France in 1998. Already in the new century, the Iranians only missed the cups of Korea-Japan in 2002 and South Africa in 2010.

The real challenge for Iran is to get out of the group stage as they have failed in their five previous appearances to advance beyond the first round; they have scored just two wins in 15 matches played and at Brazil 2014 they finished as the 28th pick out of a possible 32.

Currently, Iran is led by the Croatian Dragan Skocic and has more and more elements in European football, such as the aforementioned Taremi, as well as Karim Ansarifard at AEK in Greece, Saman Ghoddos at Brentford in the Premier League and Alireza Jahanbaksh in the Dutch Feyernood.

In Group A, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates are the only ones who can still fight for second direct place in the World Cup, while Lebanon, Iraq and Syria are only aiming for the play-off rounds. In Group B, Saudi Arabia is the leader with 19 points and is closest to the ticket, followed by Japan with 15 and Australia with 14. Oman and China still have mathematical chances to reach the play-off rounds, while Vietnam has already been eliminated.

Leave a Comment