Queiroz: We are still alive and still dreaming

Islamic Republic of Iran head coach Carlos Queiroz remains optimistic of his team’s chances despite suffering a 1-0 defeat to Spain in a 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Group B tie on Wednesday.

Team Melli currently sit third in the Group B standings, just one point below Portugal and Spain who are on four points, setting up a decisive final group stage match up with the Portuguese on June 25 at the Mordovia Arena.

“We showed that we were ready to suffer and ready to compete,” Queiroz said.

“I felt we deserved a better result. There’s no doubt Spain play wonderful, stylish football but I thought we deserved more for the way we played.”

The Spaniards were unable to break the Iranian defence in the first half, and a lucky Diego Costa goal in the 54th minute broke the deadlock.

Iran endured further heartbreak after Saeid Ezatolahi’s goal was disallowed for offside.

The 65-year-old former Real Madrid coach said Iran are still in contention for a place in the Knockout Stage and will give it their all against Cristiano Ronaldo-led Portugal, the reigning European champions.

“If you think of it like tennis, we had one match point today and we will have another against Portugal.

“Everything is still open. We are still alive and still dreaming.

“We left the pitch 1-0 down, but we won respect. I’m sure the fans are proud of our team,” said Queiroz.