Iraq: Unfinished Business

Ever since the quarterfinal between Iran and Iraq at the 2015 Asian Cup, I have wanted revenge like no other.

The opportunity did present itself at the group stage of the 2019 Asian Cup, but a scoreless draw left Iranian fans wanting another shot at their neighbors.

After the draw for the 2022 Asian qualifiers, it was revealed that Iran would get two opportunities against its longtime rival.

In my opinion, both matches will be entertaining because rivalry matches always produce some kind of drama.

Everyone knows that Iran is the better team and it showed in 2015 because Iraq needed to win on penalties and had the help of the official while playing with a one-man advantage for the entire second half and extra time.

The last three meetings between Iran and Iraq have been played in the Asian Cup going back to 2011.

But this November will be the first time Iran and Iraq face each other in World Cup qualifying for the first time since 2001.

The match on 14 November is scheduled to take place in Basra Sports City in Iraq.

Diehard Team Melli fans surely will never forget the exciting come-from-behind win in Baghdad in 2001 when Ali Daei scored the winning goal in the final minutes of the match to give Iran a 2-1 victory.

When it comes to making predictions, I think it is safe to say that Iran should come out on top against Iraq in Tehran, but the match in Basra is tough to predict.

But because of the bad taste in my mouth from 2015, I am hoping Iran makes its fans proud by dominating Iraq in both matches.

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