Mohammad Khakpour satisfied despite Iran’s loss to Qatar

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moved a step closer to the knockout rounds of the AFC U23 Championship on Friday with an impressive 2-1 win over at Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium that sees them take command of Group A.

Ahmed Alaa and Abdelkarim Hassan claimed a goal in each half to secure all three points for Felix Sanchez’s side and leave Iran – who missed a penalty through Roozbeh Cheshmi – needing to win their final group game against China on Monday.

Ali Karimi scored on the stroke of full-time for Iran, but it was not enough to deny the Qataris a deserved victory.

In spite of lost, Iran U23 coach Mohammad Khakpour still expressed his satisfaction with their team performance in the post-match conference.

“We dominated the game but at the end they’re not going to give any points to the better players, but to the team that scores the most goals,” said Khakpour.

“My captain, I’m really proud of him and the other players because they did their best, they were putting 100 percent into the game and missing the penalty is just part of the game. It happens and many great players in the world have missed penalties.

“But I’m so proud of them because they played a great game tonight. They sacrificed for each other and that’s good enough for me.”

In the other match of group A, Syria came back from early conceded goal to beat 10-man China 3-1 to secured their first win of the tournament.