Asian Cup Preview: Iran v Iraq
Iraq will look to use their performance against Palestine as a blueprint when they face arch-rivals Iran in the Asian Cup quarter-finals on Friday.
While Iraq may have only defeated minnows Palestine 2-0 on Tuesday, forward Justin Meram is convinced the performance in Canberra proved Radhi Shenaishil's side can be successful in Australia.
Captain Younis Mahmoud and winger Ahmed Yasin scored the goals in the Australian capital, while Meram started for the first time in the tournament - and the Columbus Crew man was thrilled with Iraq's display.
"It was a quality performance, we kept the ball and played good football, and if we play like this we can have a very successful in the tournament," Meram said.
Iraq faced neighbours Iran in a friendly before the continental championships with the Persians prevailing 1-0. The last time the two sides met at an Asian Cup, Iran won 2-1 in Qatar.
But Meram insisted Iraq are looking forward to the quarter-final, which will be held at GIO Stadium Canberra.
"We've been confident, even after the loss to Japan," he said.
"We've been a very confident group, we play good football and I think the fans are going to love this match-up in the quarter-finals."
Iran will enter the match having won all three of their games in Group C, although they had to hang on for their 1-0 triumph over United Arab Emirates on Monday.
UAE had the vast majority of possession but a stoppage-time strike from Reza Ghoochannejhad saw Iran claim victory.
Ghoochannejhad, who started on the bench for the second consecutive game, claimed that Iran still deserved to win.
"I think Iran were more efficient today and luckily we scored in the dying seconds," the Charlton Athletic striker said after the match.
"Our team showed amazing spirit."
Carlos Quieroz's Iran took five shots with three on target, while UAE had eight efforts on goal but only forced one save.