FIFA U-17 World Cup: Iran look to break Round of 16 curse | fifa u17 world cup 2017 | Hindustan Times
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FIFA U-17 World Cup: Iran look to break Round of 16 curse

Iran, who competed at their first FIFA U-17 World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago in 2001, have managed to reach last-16 twice in three attempts. This time around though, they’ll look to better their record.

fifa u17 world cup 2017 Updated: Sep 26, 2017 19:15 IST
Rajesh Pansare
Rajesh Pansare
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Iran will look to perform well and break their Round of 16 curse in the FIFA U-17 World Cup, starting October 6.
Iran will look to perform well and break their Round of 16 curse in the FIFA U-17 World Cup, starting October 6. (Twitter/Mian Tayyab Mumtaz‏ )

Iran’s first appearance at the Under-17 World Cup finals was in 2001 in Trinidad and Tobago and ended in three straight defeats. Since then, they have participated in two more editions – 2009 and 2013 – but fell at the last-16 stage both times.

But they have a fair amount of history and pedigree in Asia and that was evident in the way Iran took apart India last year, two goals from penalties notwithstanding. They lost in the final of the 2016 AFC U-16 Championship to Iraq in the shootout to secure their place in the world finals. Since then they have played numerous friendlies, mostly against European sides, to prep-up for the October event.

(Read | FIFA U-17 World Cup: 2015 runners-up Mali look to claim first title)

KNOW THE COACH

Abbas Chamanian: A physical education professor, Chamanian, 53, has been with the team since 2016 and guided them to the final of the AFC Under-16 Championship. Chamanian, who has managed numerous clubs in Iran, was previously in charge of the under-17 team between 2003 and 2004 too.

PAST PERFORMANCE

Round of 16: 2009, 2013. Group stage: 2001. Did not qualify: 1985-1999, 2003-07, 2011, 2015.

PASSAGE TO INDIA

Qualified by virtue of being runners-up in the AFC U-16 championships.

Results in AFC U-16

Bt Saudi Arabia 3-2; dw V UAE 1-1; bt India 3-0; bt Vietnam 5-0; bt North Korea 7-6 via penalties (regulation time 1-1); lost 3-4 to Iraq (regulation time 0-0)