Press Releases ● Mar 28, 2016

Media Statements On Afghanistan Match By National Team Head Coach And Captain



TEHRAN, 28 MARCH 2016: National Team Head Coach Bernd Stange and National Team captain Shahril Ishak have both expressed their thoughts ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup/2019 AFC Asian Cup Group E qualifying match against Afghanistan. Their full statements can be found below.

Coach Bernd Stange said: ‚ÄúWe are on track towards making history by qualifying for the AFC Asian Cup and this is possible only because of our players’ hard work and commitment and our backroom officials’ dedication. Everyone worked hard throughout the Round Two Qualifying Campaign and I am confident that we will do well in the next stage of the qualifiers if we keep this team together.‚Äù

“We had a great start to this qualifying campaign by beating Cambodia away before securing a draw against Japan in Saitama Рboth in front of 60,000 fans and now, we want to end the group two stage by achieving a good result against Afghanistan.”

“Both teams will aim to achieve three points on Tuesday and I want to see a big fight from our players to deliver a result.”

“We know that every single result is important for world ranking, which will give us a good position for the next draw.”

“Our players are in high spirits and there is strong camaraderie among the players, coaches and backroom officials. Our players know that everyone has a chance to be in the starting line-up tomorrow and they have been working hard during training to impress my coaching colleagues and me.”

‚ÄúIt won’t be easy to play Afghanistan especially under the current climate conditions but we are raring to go. We are in a good position and we want to continue the positive momentum.‚Äù

Captain Shahril Ishak said: “As players, we are all taking this match very seriously. We may have secured third position in our qualifying group, but Afghanistan will be going all out still because they want to make sure they are one of the four best fourth-placed teams, and make it to the next round of qualifications.

“It has been a good qualifying campaign so far, and we want to end it with a good result. We also want to make sure we do well because our world ranking is important to us. Doing well in this match will boost our ranking, and give us a better draw for the next round of the AFC Asian Cup qualifications next year.”

“This year is a AFF Suzuki Cup year, so we will also take this, and all other international matches this year, as part of our preparations.”