SOE declared in sections of Kingston and St Andrew

KINGSTON, Jamaica — A state of public emergency (SOE) has been declaredwithin specified boundaries encompassing parts of the Kingston Central, Kingston Western and St Andrew South Police Divisions. Read more

Portugal ready for 'tough battle' with Iran — Santos

Monday, June 25, 2018

Print this page Email A Friend!


Saransk, Russia (AFP) — Portugal boss Fernando Santos predicts a “tough battle” in today's decisive World Cup group game against Iran as both countries chase a place in the last 16.

European champions Portugal are level with Spain on four points at the top of Group B and need a draw to guarantee qualification.

Iran, who beat Morocco in their opening game before losing to Spain, are trying to reach the latter stages of the World Cup for the first time.

“We've seen all the qualifying games, not just those at the World Cup, and we've seen they're a very organised team,” Santos said yesterday.

“They have quality players with the experience of two successive World Cups, and some of them are playing in big leagues like Spain, Greece or Russia.”

Iran must win in Saransk to prolong their Russian adventure and will take heart from a narrow 0-1 loss against Spain, a game decided by a fluke Diego Costa strike.

“In my opinion they are the best Asian team,” Santos said.

“They have a lot of ability as a team and not just as a defensive team. They also know how to play on the counter as they showed against Spain.

“We have to prepare ourselves for a tough battle with two teams that want to win and that are going to do everything to achieve that.”

Portugal go into the contest as heavy favourites to progress, but veteran centre back Pepe strongly insisted the job was not yet complete.

“We don't think we have a foot and a half in the last 16 and this is a good thing,” Pepe said.

“We have a lot of respect for our rivals and it's a very important game because it's going to give us the chance to get through the group phase.”

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored all four of Portugal's goals so far in the tournament, although Santos rejected suggestions the team is overly reliant on the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.

“He makes the difference here, like he does at Real Madrid and before at Manchester United and Sporting Lisbon,” Santos said. “But on Monday Iran are going to play against Portugal, not against Cristiano.”

There will be a familiar face in the Iran dugout in Carlos Queiroz, a long-time friend of Santos who coached his native Portugal at the 2010 World Cup.

The former Real Madrid boss and Manchester United assistant has been in charge of the Iran national side since 2011.

Queiroz admitted it would be “a special day” facing his homeland, but said friendships would be put to one side as he bids to make history with Iran.

“We have to be realistic; we're going to play against one of the strongest teams at the moment,” Queiroz said.

“Portugal are not only a contender, they're one of the favourites for the title.”

ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT