Fri, Jul 20, 2007 - Page 23 News List

Iran coach happy despite problems with finishing

AFP , KUALA LUMPUR

Coach Amir Ghalenoei is pleased with the way his team is attacking if not finishing as Iran gear up for an Asian Cup quarter-final with South Korea on Sunday.

Iran hit the woodwork four times but only netted twice against Malaysia on Wednesday to finish top of Group C and remain unbeaten in the tournament.

They dominated possession but only had a 29th-minute penalty from Javad Nekounam and a late Andranik Teymourian goal to show for their efforts, failing to punish the tournament whipping boys.

"I think the game was a very good one for our team," he said. "Even though we failed to convert too many of the chances we created, to finish top of the group with seven points, especially considering how tough this group was, is very good."

Ghalenoei was not dismayed, saying that while Iran struggled to put Malaysia to the sword he saw positives for the big games ahead.

"Our system was a very attacking one. Our forwards did well even though they missed some chances. In general though I am very pleased with my players, even the strikers," he said.

"Our attacking system has been working very well and I think we had good co-ordination and we were strong down the wings. Malaysia defended very deep so I am pleased with how my team performed," Ghalenoei said.

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