With Qatar hosting the FIFA World Cup finals, United States national football coach Greg Berhalter reminded his players to focus on their next match against Iran.
The American national team will face Iran in the hopes of collecting three points to advance to the round of 16.
After losing miserably to England 6-2 in the first game and then subsequently winning against Wales 2-0, Iran is hopeful to make it out of the group stage for World Cup–something that has never been done before in its country’s history.
The Iranian national team is in second place in the group standings with three points. They are trailing the English team (leaders) by one point and are ahead of the third-placed American team by one point. The American team tied 1-1 with Wales in the first round, then tied negatively with England in the second round. last round.
The only option for the American team is to win their match at Al-Thumama stadium, despite any controversies.
The Iranian Football Association filed a complaint with FIFA, alleging that the United States had removed the Islamic Republic’s symbol from the country’s flag in social media posts.
As nearly two months of widespread protests against the government continue in Iran, its national team is also preparing to play in the World Cup.
Despite this, Berhalter claims that the focus for him and his players must stay on football to beat the Iranian national team. The only other time these two teams competed was in 1998 during the World Cup tournament in France–Iran won 2-1.
Berhalter went on to say: I know that many people have different views about this game, but for us, it is simply a football match against a good team.
Berhalter went on to say that it’s just like a knockout match–both teams want to qualify for the next round, and we’re treating this game with just as much importance.
The American coach continued, saying: I don’t want to come across as uninterested or aloof, but the players have worked hard for the last four years.
He continued: Our only focus is how to overcome Iran so that we can advance to the next round of the tournament. Of course, our thoughts are with people of the country and their team as well, but right now we need to concentrate on this game.
Berhalter continued by saying that the team is not thinking about previous games played against Wales or England. The entire focus should be on playing Iran and how to come out successful. He was pleased with what he saw from the group in terms of their dedication and lack of distractions.