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News number: 8803260772

14:11 | 2009-06-16


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Qotbi: Iran to Defeat S. Korea in Seoul

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran's coach Afshin Qotbi said on Tuesday that his men will surprise South Korean national squad with an offensive play and win the rival on its own pitch.

"We are ready for tomorrow's match. Iranian players want to gladden the hearts of the Iranian people and I am sure that they will spare no efforts in this regard," Qotbi told FNA.

Qotbi's squad will meet South Korea in their last 2010 World Cup qualifier in Seoul this Wednesday.

South Korea currently tops the Asian Group B with 15 points and already has a reserved ticket to the 2010 finals in South Africa. North Korea and Saudi Arabia sit second and third respectively on 11 points. Iran is fourth with 10 points and the UAE remains at the bottom of the chart, with only one point.

"If the players listen to me, we will definitely beat South Korea to repeat Melbourne's great victory in Seoul," Qotbi added.

"I am completely aware of the Korean's strong and weak points. I know how to contain South Korea's soccer stars," the head coach said in an interview with the Iranian labors news agency on Sunday.

Iran qualified for the 1998 World Cup in France following a 2-2 draw against Australia in Melbourne. Australia, under coach Terry Venables, tied the away leg 1-1 at Tehran's Azadi Stadium and looked like they were going to proceed to the finals in France, initially leading 2-0 in the home game in Melbourne, until Iran scored two late goals by Karim Baqeri and Khodadad Azizi.

Asia has four automatic qualifying berths, with the third-placed teams in the two groups playing each other for a chance to take on the Oceania zone victor, New Zealand. The winner will book a place in the World Cup finals.