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Stalemate in Dubai as Iran march on as Group D winners

A tense and highly contested match in Dubai was only lacking in clear-cut goal scoring chances as 'Team Melli' progress to the last 16 as Group D winners.

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Group D reaches conclusion this evening as Iran and Iraq face each other in Dubai in one of the Middle East "Clasicos". Top place in Group D at stake in the 2019 Asian Cup but this game will mean more to the supporters of both participating nations with tension between both countries always a talking point. The political aspect of the game was something both managers tried to play-down in their pre-match press conference.

Iraq coach Srecko Katanec: "I admit that the side is not the finished product but we're confident of winning against Iran. We need grow together more as a team, to be more compact, and I know of many things that we need to do to improve. We are a good team, I have good guys and good atmosphere now (ahead of) tomorrow’s game and I hope we will win.”

Iran's Carlos Queiroz: "We are excited for the game tomorrow because I am sure it will be a great game for both teams and for the fans of Iran and Iraq. So let’s enjoy and have some fun," said the Portuguese manager, adding “what happened in the past doesn’t win and lose games. It doesn’t have any influence on our state of mind in this game, we’re just here to enjoy good games and respect the team that's in front of us".

Vietnam play Yemen in the other Group D match with a simultaneous start.


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