Carlos Quieroz was both a happy and a relieved man after seeing watching his team snatch all three points at the very latest against Morocco in their Group B opener at the 2018 World Cup on Friday.
It took an own goal from Aziz Bouhaddouz to settle things in the 95th minute of the match. But the Iranians – who are only the first team hailing from Asia to win a World Cup match since 2010 – will take it, as they aim to make it out of their group, which they’re actually leading now as Spain and Portugal drew 3-3 in the later match.
Speaking after the game, Quieroz claimed to have studied the African side very carefully before making made plans to frustrate them mentally.
“Games at the World Cup are always tough, this was no different. But this was beautiful, it was a great match,” the manager said, via STV News.
“We studied Morocco carefully, we knew they were strong at the start. But our strategy was to create a mental collapse in the Morocco players by creating frustration, blocking their playmakers.
“Even in the first half we started to jump out. Once we created panic in their defence the game changed. They knew we could win and that happened in the last minutes. But you need a bit of luck in football. It’s a beautiful win, now it’s time to rest and think about the game against Spain.”
With what should be incredibly tough fixtures against Spain and Portugal coming up, the Iranians will have lots of preparing to do, with the first coming up against La Roja on Wednesday.
Another win, though, should safely see them through to the next round.