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Wilmots wants attacking football from IR Iran


Thursday, October 10, 2019
PRELIMINARY JOINT QUALIFICATION 2022 - OT Iran

Tehran: Defensive play will not be in the gameplan for Islamic Republic of Iran when they play Cambodia in their Asian Qualifiers Group C tie at the Azadi Stadium on Thursday.


Head coach Marc Wilmots is not a fan of defensive football and his instruction to Team Melli is be on the front foot from the first blow of the whistle as Iran seek a second win.

The Central Asians opened their FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 qualifying campaign with a 2-0 triumph over Hong Kong away in September and Wilmots wants that to continue against Cambodia.

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“Our goal is winning our first home match. Victory is important for us and we are going to play attacking football against Cambodia," said the former Belgian attacking midfielder.

"Against Hong Kong, we created chances and scored goals. I want to see more of this against Cambodia."

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Iran are seeking to qualify for a third consecutive FIFA World Cup and Wilmots has targeted winning Group C, which will take his team into the third phase of qualifying.

“We want to keep going in the qualification and win our matches. This is our short-term goal.

"Fast attacking football is what we want at this stage. We want to finish the competition as the group winners,” said Wilmots, adding that he isn't a fan of defensive football.

Matchday Three - Preview: Group C

The Belgian also explained why he left Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Saeid Ezatolahi out of the squad for the matches against Cambodia and Bahrain.

“I will invite players who play regularly for their clubs. Jahanbakhsh didn’t play for (English side) Brighton & Hove Albion since picking up an injury. He didn’t train with his team for 10 days.

"It is the same with Ezatolahi (who plays for Belgian side Eupen). We invite players who play regularly for their clubs.”

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