Iran Top Group C After Costa Rica Win

Equatorial Guinea have been barred from the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2019

Equatorial Guinea have been barred from the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2019

The euphoria of routing Germany 4-0 in the U-17 World Cup on Tuesday seemed to be a thing of the past, the smiles and camaraderie at training in Benaulim on Thursday notwithstanding.Iran play Costa Rica in their concluding Group C encounter at the Nehru Stadium on Friday and expressed their approach and expectations after assuring themselves a spot in the knockout phase.The team's first aim is to go beyond the round of 16 for the first time ever and to enhance that chance, coach Abbas Chamanian recommends staying in Goa.

"What we have seen from the Iranian side, I'm sure that they will go very far in the (U17) World Cup", he said.

Looking forward to the Round of 16 game against Colombia in Delhi, the German coach said their opponents are very strong. Fiete-Arp was brought down by Guinea centre back Ismael Traore just outside the box in the very first minute of the game, earning the latter a yellow card.

Well aware that only a win will put them in the reckoning for qualification, Costa Rica started the match in the right earnest and began attacking right from the start. "Our defence has done a good job till now and we hope they will continue to do the same in the play-offs as well", said Chamanian.

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"Colombia is a very good team, and we saw their last game on the TV yesterday". Their 2-6-2 system was in a total contrast to that of Iran as either team tried to put their best foot forward, in search of a much-needed goal. "In the second half we tried to take some initiative but they (iran) made our life hard in the game".

In the other Group D match, Spain will look to overcome North Korea to seal their place in pre-quarters. "We have not capitalized on the chances that we got throughout the tournament, we had got almost 30 chances in but we failed to convert most of it". "I think we have a team that is strong in offence".

Asked about the conditions in Kochi, he said, "I think conditions in Kochi are better than Goa because it is not so hot and not so humid". Iran's Taha Shariati crashed the ball in from the spot kick to take his team two goals up before half time. Guinea coach Souleymane Camara would later call him the best player on the pitch, both "tactically and physically".

The scoreline might be misleading as Guinea gave a might scare for most of the match with their fast-paced game and it was only their poor finishing that let them down. He was satisfied with the defence and the five changes he made were manly tactical changes and added that the attackers should make use of the chances they create. "Yes that's what football is".

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