Asian Cup Diary - Day 7: Team Melli party people

One of the most widely accepted truths is that Brazil is the party capital of the world.

One of the most widely accepted truths is that Brazil is the party capital of the world. From samba dance festivals to asado house parties, concerts on Copacabana Beach to the world famous annual Rio Canal festival during Lent, which attracts two million revellers per day, these football-mad South Americans definitely know how to have fun.

And just when you thought their antics could not be matched, well… think again!

Thursday night’s Qatar vs Iran match at Stadium Australian in Sydney saw one major talking point emerge – the atmosphere.

Prior to the game, everyone expected the Iranian supporters to turn out in full force. And their spirited attitude towards the game was highly impressive.

Even as The Diary yet again made that wretched journey out to Homebush, hours out from kick-off, the Iranians were causing a racket right across the city. The singing, the dancing, the chanting drew the attention of passers-by and fellow commuters, regardless of whether or not they were on the same carriage.

Spare a thought for the Qatari fans who were outnumbered 200 to 1.

The atmosphere inside Stadium Australia was a sight to behold. Unlike South American celebrations, which often include the use of pyrotechnics, the Iranians had to make use of all they had on hand - flags, drums and their vocal cords.

Not to be put off the 22,000 or so supporters were loud, like really loud. Deafening. To put things into perspective, despite sitting right next to fellow FFT journos - John Davidson and Adam Jackson – we were forced to tweet our thoughts to each other during the match.

Those fans easily overshadowed Australia’s more than 50,000 – at times dull – supporters who turned out a couple of nights earlier.

Needless to say, the decibel meters within the stadium broke when Iran netted the only goal of the match in the 52nd minute courtesy of Sardar Azmoun, whose clever turn, set up an easy tap past the goalkeeper.

Even after the match, thousands gathered on the concourse. Iran had qualified, coach Carlos Queiroz was ecstatic and naturally, the celebrations had only just begun.

So kudos to you Iran fans! You did indeed make Stadium Australia your home for the night, and the competition was all the better for it.

Elsewhere, Ali Mabkhout created history by scoring the quickest goal in Asian Cup history, netting within 14 seconds of kick-off. Crazy. So while people continue collapsing at the name of Omar Abdulrahman, let’s not forget that there are other stars in that UAE team who are worth mentioning.

And finally, it seems the Socceroos are never out of the limelight with Mat Ryan linked with a move to Liverpool. While The Diary is unsure of how true these rumours are, it’s definitely an exciting prospect!