Iranians ready to take on Mexico in Round of 16 clash
Margao: High on confidence after a strong show in the group stage, Asian powerhouse Iran would look to keep their unbeaten run intact when they face Mexico in a pre-quarterfinal match of the FIFA U-17 World Cup on Tuesday.
Iran have enjoyed a good run in this tournament, beating Guinea (3-1), Germany (4-0) and Costa Rica (3-0) to top Group C.
They had would be looking to keep the momentum going in their bid to reach the quarterfinals for the first time in their fourth appearance in the tournament.
Iran will, however, be without their key defender and captain Mohammed Ghobeishavi for Tuesday's match after he received a yellow card against Costa Rica, his second in the tournament.
Coach Abbas Chamanianian took Ghobeishavi's absence in his stride, saying these things happen in football.
Younis Delgi and Allahyar Sayyad have been brilliant upfront as and have been involved in almost every chance Iran have created.
Mohammad Ghaderi and Mohamad Sharifi have been lively in the midfield. Iran are good in the air and take advantage of the dead ball situations. And they are fast on the counter- attacks as well.
The farthest Iran had progressed at the FIFA U-17 World Cup was the round of 16. They've matched that already and must be looking to go further and improve their record. Coach Abbas Chamanyan said they expect to at least be in the semi-finals.
Two-time Champions Mexico have not had a great tournament so far, considering that they came here as Central American champions. Mexico, who play a one-touch game and are known for their attacking game, have not lived up to the expectations. And they will face a stern test on Tuesday against a confident Iran.