0119 GMT November 24, 2017
Having made the quarterfinals for the first time in four attempts, Abbas Chamanian's players will be confident of beating Spain despite the European side being the clear favorites, the-afc.com reported.
Iran has hardly put a foot wrong so far, advancing to the quarterfinals with a perfect record of four wins.
Iranians cruised through the group stage with wins over Guinea (3-1), Germany (4-0) and Costa Rica (3-0) before producing a steely performance to overcome Mexico – semifinalists in the last three editions of the FIFA U-17 World Cup – 2-1 in their last-16 clash.
Allahyar Sayyadmanesh is Iran’s leading scorer with three goals while Younes Delfi and Mohammad Sharifi have chipped in with two each, giving Iran several options upfront.
The Asian side will need them all against a Spanish side which has impressed after suffering a 2-1 defeat against Brazil in its opening Group D match.
Spain bounced back to defeat Niger 4-0 and DPR Korea 2-0 before recording what was among the most impressive last-16 stage results – beating France 2-1.
Spain has gained in confidence, proving itself to be a solid unit that plays a familiar possession-based game and with Iran flying high after its perfect run so far, the stage is set for a cracking tie at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium in Kochi today.
Spain would be well advised not to let their tie with Iran go to penalties. The Iranians have converted all four of the spot-kicks they have been awarded at India 2017, with Mohammad Sharifi putting two away and Mohammad Ghobeishavi and Taha Shariati one apiece.
History favors La Rojita
Spain and Iran have never played each other before at the FIFA U-17 World Cup, though there is one record that will encourage the men in red. Going into today's match-up, Spain has won all eight of its games against Asian opposition.
Iran’s head coach insisted that his side is confident and prepared ahead of clash against Spain.
“It is of special significance to anyone to attain their goal.
“Fortunately, morale amongst Iranian players is very high at the moment. Even though some had doubted our abilities to fulfill our objectives, we managed to do so. Iranian footballers have been training hard over the past few months and recent days,” Chamanian said as Press TV reported.
He added, “Luckily, the atmosphere is pleasant, and our players are determinedly training.
“Spain, with style and tactics of its own, is a really good team. It has four influential players. Moreover, nine of its players are currently playing for professional football clubs like Barcelona and Real Madrid. Iranian footballers will enter the field with great vigor and valor.”
Iran set for Spanish job in FIFA U-17 World Cup