We want to finish Group A as leaders: Dragan Skocic

Iran booked their place in Qatar 2022 on Thursday as the first Asian team with three games to play after edging Iraq.

The ‘Persian Leopards’ will host the UAE on Tuesday in Tehran’s Azadi Stadium and the Croatian coach is determined to win his 14th win out of 15th match with the Iranian football team.

“We want to make the Iranian people happy and will play the UAE with the aim of registering another win,” Skocic said in the pre-match news conference.

“The UAE are a strong team and we know that we have a difficult task ahead but our players must know that they will represent Iran and we want to win the match,” he added.

Amir Abedzadeh stole the show in the match against Iraq and has another chance to play against the UAE since Alireza Beiranvand has tested positive for COVID-19.

“I am sure there is no concern about the goalkeeper in the 2022 FIFA World Cup since we have good goalkeepers,” he said.

“I have a message for my players. They should not be careless and negligent in the match against the UAE and must do their best. We will start the match with the aim of making the Iranian people happy,” Skocic concluded.

UAE national team head coach Bert van Marwijk also said they are going to win the match.

The Emirati football team must finish as the third -placed team to have a chance to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

“We are in good condition after beating Syria and are ready to beat Iran in Tehran as well. I would also like to congratulate Iran for booking their place in the FIFA World Cup,” the Dutchman said.