One of football’s biggest rivals will be at the center of the Asian Cup on Wednesday, as Iran play Iraq, which capsized four years ago from its controversial exit.
Iran played the quarter-finals of the 2015 classic with ten men, especially after Mehrdad Pooladi’s dismissal in the first half of the year was fierce. However, when he ended 3: 3 after the extra time, Iraq were able to fend off the penalty shoot-out.
The Iranian protest that Iraq produced an unqualified player was rejected when Carlos Queiroz’s three-time winner was picked up by the Australian tournament.
Iranian striker Saman Ghoddos said four years after his collision in Canberra that memories are still fresh as Team Melli take on Iraq in their last Group D game.
“Iraq is a tough opponent, and I think this will be a revenge fight for us,” Ghoddos told Iran’s Varzesh3 website.
“I’ve been waiting for this game since the last Asian Cup. We will win this game for the people. “
Football is one of the remaining issues between neighbors in the Middle East, who waged a bloody war in the 1980s, killing hundreds of thousands of people.
Relations between the two countries have warmed since the relegation of Iraq’s long-time Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003, but matches between the two countries are not for the faint-hearted.