Queiroz dedicates triumph to fans

Carlos Queiroz dedicated Iran's Asian Cup win over Qatar to the vociferous fans that roared on the team in Sydney.

Carlos Queiroz dedicated Iran's win over Qatar to the vociferous fans that roared on the team in Sydney as they reached the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup.

Sardar Azmoun scored the only goal of the game with a moment of magic at Stadium Australia, as Iran made it two wins out of two in Group C to progress to the last eight together with the United Arab Emirates.

Azmoun applied a cool finish in the second half following a clever turn, demonstrating why he is reportedly a target for the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool.

It was more like a home game for Iran, who were backed by a large contingent of passionate supporters, and head coach Queiroz was grateful for some impressive backing.

He said: "Today there were two teams trying to win the game from the first minute. First we tried to build up opportunities, then we had to play with fighting spirit, always trying to score again but unfortunately the second goal did not come.

"That made our life difficult until the last second. I think it was a good win, we had the best opportunities in the game. I think we deserved to win the game.

"I would like to dedicate this win to the fantastic Iranian fans that came here to support the team. The win is for them."

Iran face the UAE, who are above them on goal difference after beating Bahrain 2-1, in Brisbane on Monday in a game that will decide who tops the group.

While Iran can look forward to appearing in the knockout stages, Gulf champions Qatar will head home following their encounter with Bahrain.

Qatar coach Djamel Belmadi was left to rue a lack of firepower, but believes the future is bright for his youthful side.

"If you don't score goals it's always difficult to win," he said.

"We have a lot of young players. Our striker [Mohammed Muntari] is young too, even younger than most of our national team. This is his first competition, maybe his third or fourth game with us.

"We have always had a problem with this position [striker] in the past. I think in the future Muntari will improve and I'm happy with his performance. Of course we need goals. We didn't score, but I have confidence for the future.

"The experience is so important. Today our average age was around 24-25 years old. Most of our players hadn't played in a competitive tournament like this.

"They can learn in many ways. First to deal with the environment. As you could see, the stadium was filled with Iran fans. We don't choose to play in this kind of environment in our country."