Monday, 10 December, 2018

No boots, no problem as Queiroz plays up Iran unity

Black Stars of Ghana celebrating a World Cup goal at South Africa 2010 Black Stars of Ghana celebrating a World Cup goal at South Africa 2010
Frederick Owens | 16 June, 2018, 00:02

Former Real stalwart Fernando Hierro has been thrown into the deep end as head coach, with little coaching experience and huge pressure on his shoulders.

But Iran took the victory, only their second in World Cup history after a 2-1 win over the United States at France 1998.

Captain Sergio Ramos and Hierro put on a united front on Thursday as they contemplated the opening Group B meeting against their neighbours and arch-rivals following two days of chaotic upheaval.

The late decision has disrupted Iran's preparations, with some players reportedly having to buy their own footwear from Russian shops or even ask club team-mates for help.

Ramos, who also skippers Real Madrid, reportedly led a last-minute intervention on behalf of the players to try and save Lopetegui's job but insisted this week's events had not upset any relationships within the squad.

"There are no cracks".

With this result, the two African teams that have been in action so far at the 2018 World Cup have both been defeated.

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"After so many years in this business, the first game of a World Cup is always hard and tough and this was no different - but it was also lovely", said Iran coach Queiroz.

Portugal have since won Euro 2016 and are hoping Cristiano Ronaldo, 33, can turn it on in what's likely to be his last World Cup.

Bicester Advertiser - ST. PETERSBURG, Iran coach Carlos Queiroz is refusing to be distracted by Spain's coaching calamities as his team prepare to kick off their 2018 World Cup campaign against Morocco in Saint Petersburg.

"As an experienced coach, I would like to say Iran and Morocco have a chance of winning the match but it would be great Iran win the match".

There were alarming scenes during Friday's second World Cup match when Morocco met Iran in the slightly less attractive Group A fixture of the day.

"It has been a source of inspiration for us", he told Sky Sports.

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