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Queiroz bemoans missed chances as U.S. ends Iran 'dream'


Doha, Nov 29, 2022 (AFP) - Iran coach Carlos Queiroz bemoaned his team's missed chances after crashing out of the World Cup with a 1-0 defeat to the United States on Tuesday.

The Iranians were eliminated from Group B after failing to secure a draw that would have seen the Asian qualifiers advance to the last 16 for the first time.

After being outplayed in the first half at the Al Thumama Stadium, with US forward Christian Pulisic scoring the game's only goal, Iran carved out a series of second half chances.

But substitute Saman Ghoddos wasted two clear opportunities before the Americans held on for victory.

"The dream is over," Queiroz said after defeat.

"First half was US, they started the game much better than us, more quick, better control of the game. They deserved to score.

"But second half was the opposite, we came back strong. We started to close and stopped the movement of the US step by step.

"But unfortunately football always punishes the team that doesn't score. It's simple -- the team that scored in the first half deserves to move forward (in the tournament).

"We didn't score and we are punished with the result. A draw would have been a fair result. But in football, fair doesn't exist.

"If we'd scored in the second half it could have been a different story. But there's no ifs in football."

Queiroz said he hoped Iran would regroup after the World Cup exit.

"We need to deal with reality and come back better and stronger and prepare better for the next time we qualify," he said.

"Keep going and try to win respect and admiration and credibility all over the world. Because I think they deserve it."

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