EghtesadOnline: Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) in a report announced that Iran lived up to expectations.
“Iran booked their qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia with a 2-0 home victory against Uzbekistan, joining Brazil and hosts Russia at the global extravaganza. With Team Melli living up to expectations, however, Korea Republic and Japan failed to edge closer to qualification by dropping points, while both Syria and United Arab Emirates saw their blushes saved with stoppage-time equalizers.”
“Considering its significance as a decider of Asia's first qualified team, this match attracted the lion's share of attention from across the continent and beyond. Aware that a victory was all that they needed to seal their second successive World Cup qualification, coach Carlos Queiroz had urged Iran not to let the precious opportunity slip away. Obviously, the hosts proved in no shortage of motivation, dominating the proceedings throughout en route to triumph and progression.”
According to IRNA, FIFA website also released a picture of Iranians’ happiness after Iran’s victory against Uzbekistan, noting “with Iran through, Group A became a three-way battle for the remaining automatic qualifying spot.
“Second-placed Korea Republic, however, failed to extend their cushion on contenders Uzbekistan and Syria, losing 3-2 in Qatar. Hassan Al Haydos scored twice and set up another, as the Middle Eastern nation grabbed just their second victory in the group, a result which kept their hopes of a play-off place still alive.”
“China PR, meanwhile, missed a glorious chance to clinch their second victory under coach Marcello Lippi, conceding a stoppage-time goal in a 2-2 draw with Syria. The result maintains Syria’s contention for a qualifying spot, but condemned China PR to the bottom of the group and with their hopes further dented.”
With two weeks left to the end of the preliminary stage of 2018 World Cup, Iran is the first in the region and the second in the world to book a ticket in the globally prestigious competition. Brazil was the first country to book their trip to Russia 2018.
Iran has so far, participated in 1978 Argentina, 1998 France, 2006 Germany, and 2014 Brazil World Cups.