Doha, 30 January 2024 - Argentine Hector Cuper, Syria national football team coach stressed his squad's readiness to face off Iran at the Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium on Wednesday, part of AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023's round of 16.
The Syrian team are among the top four teams ranking 3rd in their respective groups, thanks to their possessing four points gained through a victory against India 1-0, a draw with Uzbekistan, and despite a defeat by Australia 1-0, securing their way to the round of 16 for the first time in the team's history.
Syria's coach acknowledged that facing Iran, one of Asia's strongest teams will be challenging, however, he said that his team are ambitious and optimistic, hoping to use Syria's high morale to qualify to the next stage and to minimize the amount of mistakes committed in previous matches.
Cuper said that losing final matches is not uncommon to him, yet he is both happy and proud of what he has achieved throughout his career, adding that the aim is to bring joy to the Syrian people, pledging to put in the work, to strive, and to have the necessary spirit to make it to the next stage.
Regarding his objective for this tournament, the former Italian Inter Milan and Spanish Valencia manager said that right now all that matters is to win tomorrow's match, especially that Iran have a big attack advantage, in addition to their outstanding defense, adding that Syria's main goal will be to avoid receiving any goals, followed by the objective of scoring.
Cuper concluded by saying that making it this far has given the team a great confidence boost which is why they are optimistic about the coming matches.
In turn, Syria squad player Ibrahim Hesar said that the upcoming match will not be easy at all given the Iranian team's strength and their continental standing, however he underscored Syria's desire to achieve a historical victory and to cross over to the next stage.
The player who scored Syria's goal against India added that the team are escalating their performance with every passing match, highlighting that the team were able to create various attack attempts, and hoping to make it to the farthest point possible in the tournament in order to make Syria's fans happy.