World Cup 2018 Carlos Queiroz hails Iran’s late minute victory over Morocco
Carlos Queiroz side’s benefited from a late minute own-goal to beat the North African powerhouse
Carlos Queiroz has hailed “beautiful” World Cup victory over Morocco on Friday.
Aziz Bouhaddouz scored an own goal as Iran handed Morocco a 1-0 win in their opening group B game on Friday.
Carlos Queiroz in his first consecutive World Cup appearance as a coach expressed his joy over his side’s victory.
“After so many years in this business, the first game of a World Cup is always difficult and tough and this was no different – but it was also beautiful,” said Iran coach Queiroz.
“We started very carefully and I’m sure they studied the Iranian team. We knew they have a very strong and powerful start to the game – always with full speed and a great attacking spirit.
“Our strategy was, from the first minute, to create a mental collapse in the Moroccan players, we try to do that by creating frustration and block all the playmakers and the players who can create something.”
With European heavyweights Spain and Portugal the other nations in Group B, any chances of Iran or Morocco providing a shock and reaching the knockout stages looked likely to need a positive result here.
Portuguese Queiroz takes Iran to Kazan to face Spain next time out and admits a different approach will be required.
“Since we were able to create panic in their defensive line the game changed,” he said. “The players for Morocco knew we could win the game and that changed everything in the last minutes.
“It was a beautiful win, three points, and now it is time to rest and think about the game against Spain. Against Spain, everyone from the goalkeeper to the striker can create things so we have to think of a different strategy.”
Defeat for Morocco means they have it all to do to go beyond the group stages – but coach Herve Renard is not ready to throw in the towel.
“In a competition where three matches need to be played, as long as there are still two matches to be played, whoever the opponents, there is still hope,” he said.
“When one starts the competition with no points, we are in a difficult situation but many things can happen so we need to concentrate on what we did right and things we did not do so well.”