Iran vs. China : Match Preview

Abu Dhabi:

Team Melli head coach Carlos Queiroz has declared that his side are aiming to make the most of their undoubted experience when they face China PR in an eagerly anticipated AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 quarter-final encounter on Thursday.

After beating Oman 2-0 in the Round of 16, the Iranians head into the game having impressively won all four of their games en route to the last eight, and eager to claim what would be the nation’s first Continental crown since 1976.

Team Melli’s last attempt at AFC Asian Cup glory ended at the same stage when they dramatically lost on penalties to Iraq four years ago in Australia.

Although mindful of that result, Queiroz is determined for Iran to put what they have learned between then and now to good use when they face the East Asians

“No two games in football are ever the same, in football it is always a different story,” declared the Portuguese tactician.

“The game versus China is a new game, a new adventure, and one in which we can try to do our absolute best. However, what is key is to remember all the lessons we have learned – both when we have won and when we have lost – and put them to good use.

“This is just like a cup final as they are games which do not have a history, they do not have a past. You cannot lose a game because of history or statistics. This type of cup final match is very different to those we faced in the group stage and I believe the experience my players have will count for something in the game.”

“We are not favourites as I feel there are never favourites in a game like this. We are proud to be here for a game which is the most important game of our lives because it is the next game, and that is always the most crucial for both players and coaches.”

Despite China having impressed at the tournament so far, Queiroz is eager that his charges embrace the challenge rather than be distracted by what will undoubtedly be a formidable test.

“It will be a difficult game against a very tough team,” he said.

“China are a solid and well-prepared team with a great coach. We know a difficult task is in front of us, but we are excited and fully prepared. We are confident that we will play well, as we have the ability, our ambitions and our dreams.

“I want my players to keep it simple as football really is a simple game. It is just 90 minutes of 11 versus 11 and the players need to enjoy the match, enjoy the experience. If we are able to play with freedom and joy, I believe we will do well.”

Marcello Lippi reaction.

Iran, said China head coach Marcello Lippi, are the top team in Asia and there is a reason why the Central Asians has occupied the spot.

“Obviously Iran are one of the top teams in Asia, they played well at the (2018) FIFA World Cup and here too, are physically very strong, organised and have very good quality,” said Lippi at Wednesday’s pre-match press conference.

“From what we know of Iran, we know that we must be tactically perfect against them. There is no room for mistakes for they will punish you every chance they get.

“They are technically and tactically very sound and very good in playing long balls. We must be focused against them,” added Lippi.

 “Iran may be ranked higher than us and I would say they are the favourites but nothing is impossible in football.

“We have been working hard correcting our mistakes and I am confident my players are ready for what will definitely be a very hard match but one which I think we can do well in.”

“We have been improving and will go into the match against Iran confident,” said Lippi.

Lippi said he would decide after training on Wednesday on whether Wu Lei, who is nursing a shoulder injury, would start after a final training session on Wednesday.


Iran has only lost one official match match against China in their long history o competitions and that was in the World Cup Qualifiers in 1989. In Asian Cup , the two team met 6 times with Iran winning 2 while the rest were draws. The biggest win for Team Melli was in 2001 in the Civilizations Tournament when China lost 4-0. The biggest win for China was 2-0 in 1989.

H / A / N Matches W D L Goals + / –
H 6 6 0 0 17 – 4 +13
A 9 2 3 4 8 – 9 -1
N 9 4 4 1 13 – 8 +5
Total 24 12 7 5 38 – 21 +17

Asian Cup Results

Date Stage score Stadium Attendance
15.07.2007 Group C 2 – 2 National Stadium Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur 5,938
03.08.2004  Semi Finals 1 – 1 Workers Stadium , Beijing 50,000
17.12.1988 3rd Place 0 – 0 Hamad bin Khalifa Stadium , Doha 2,000
03.12.1984  Group B 2 – 0 National Stadium – Singapore 18,525
20.09.1980  Group A 2 – 2 Al Arabi Stadium -Kuwait City 10,000
05.06.1976  Semi Final 2 – 0 Aryamehr Stadium, Tehran 60,000