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Queiroz to stay as Team Melli coach until 2019 AFC Asian Cup ends: Iranian official

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran's Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz gives a press conference at the Mordovia Arena in Saransk, Russia, on June 24, 2018, on the eve of his team’s 2018 World Cup Group B football match against Portugal. (Photo by AFP)

A high-ranking Iranian sports official says Portuguese football manager Carlos Queiroz, who is currently in charge of the Iran men’s national football team, will remain as the head coach of Team Melli until the conclusion of the 2019  Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup.

“The Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs supports the decisions made by the Football Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran. As far as we know, Queiroz will continue his job until the end of the AFC Asian Cup,” Iran’s Deputy Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs, Mohammad Reza Davarzani, said.

The 2019 AFC Asian Cup, which will be the 17th edition of the quadrennial international men's football championship of Asia, will be held from January 5 to February 1 next year in the United Arab Emirates.

Queiroz has yet to agree to extend his contract with the Iranian football federation.

Team Melli has won the ticket for the FIFA World Cup finals twice in a row under the tutelage of the 64-year-old Portuguese coach.

On June 25, the Iran men’s national football team failed to advance to the 2018 World Cup knockout stage, however it wrote history by earning four points for the first time in the quadrennial international sporting event.

Iran finished 1-1 with the Portugal national football team, nicknamed A Selecção, at the Mordovia Arena.

Iran's Karim Ansarifard scores his team’s first goal from the penalty spot during a 2018 FIFA World Cup Group B match between Iran and Portugal at the Mordovia Arena, Saransk, Russia, on June 25, 2018. (Photo by Reuters)

Team Melli did not allow Portugal to break through until the 45th minute, when Ricardo Quaresma broke the deadlock with a stunning goal.

The 34-year-old’s right-footed shot curled the ball past Alireza Beiranvand.

Eight minutes into the second half, Cristiano Ronaldo could have doubled Portugal’s lead, when his team was awarded a penalty by video assistant referee (VAR). Beiranvand brilliantly saved Ronaldo’s penalty though.

Iran was awarded a penalty kick after a VAR review determined that Portugal’s Cedric Soares had committed a handball in the box in the stoppage time.

Karim Ansarifard buried the ball into the upper right corner of the goal.

Mehdi Taremi could have jabbed Iran’s second goal, but he missed his marvelous chance in front of the goal.


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