Iran faces off against defending champions and hosts Qatar in the Asian Cup semifinals on February 7. Qatar are aiming to become the first side to defend their title since Japan’s stunning double victory in 2000 and 2004.
Iran, on the other hand, has not reached the final since grabbing the coveted trophy in 1976. Despite being knocked out at the group stages of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Qatar have bounced back in the ongoing tournament. But the team still faces a real test against Iran.
Iran vs Qatar: Players lineup and other details
The upcoming Iran vs Qatar clash kicks off at the Al Thumama Stadium at 6:00 pm local time, translating to 10 am ET for US and Canada, 3 pm GMT for the UK, 8:30 pm IST for India and 2:00 am AEDT for Australia (February 8).
Iran clinched the spot in the semifinals through a late 2-1 victory over pre-tournament favourites Japan as Alireza Jahanbakhsh netted an added time penalty. Meanwhile, star striker Mehdi Taremi is back in the squad after serving a one-game ban against Japan.
Iran (4-3-2-1, right to left): Beiranvand (GK) — Rezaeian, Kanaanizadegan, Khalilzadeh, Mohammadi — Ebrahimi, Ezatolahi — Jahanbakhsh, Taremi, Ghoddos — Azmoun
The hosting nation Qatar needed a penalty shootout to get past Uzbekistan in the previous round. Sultan Al Brake came in to start for the team. Qatar is riding a wave of home advantage ahead of the highly anticipated game.
Qatar (3-5-2 right to left): Barsham (GK) — Salman, Mukhtar, Mendes — Miguel, Al-Brake, Fatehi, Al-Haydos, Waad — Afif, Ali
Iran vs Qatar: Match prediction
Both sides have won all three games in the group stages. But the Iranian team is strongly predicted to storm on to the final. Iran’s prominent stars in attack will be vital with Jahanbakhsh and Taremi among the biggest stars at the tournament.
Located in Doha, the Al Thumama Stadium was the venue for the last World Cup, featuring a capacity of 44,000 spectators. The final will be played at the iconic Lusail Stadium on February 10. Jordan has already qualified for the final match, defeating South Korea on Tuesday.
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