Tehran Times - Iran star Alireza Jahanbakhsh criticized the way that Iraqi players performed against Iran in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.
Team Melli, the first-ranked football team in Asia, were held to a goalless draw by Iraq at a packed Maktoum Stadium in Dubai on Wednesday but advanced to the Round of 16 as the Group D winners.
Jahanbakhsh was in Iran lineup after the Brighton & Hove Albion star missed Team Melli’s first two matches against Yemen and Vietnam due to injury.
“We knew that it would be a difficult match against Iraq because we had experience playing together. But I think they had not come to play football this time. Iraq came to ruin our football and there was not a good enough condition for football,” Jahanbakhsh told reporters after the match.
“What’s important is we have qualified for the Round of 16 as the winners. However, we wanted to advance to the next stage with nine points,” he added.
“I just want to say a huge thanks to the coaching staff for trusting me. Hopefully I can help Team Melli in the next matches,” Jahanbakhsh concluded.