SOCCER NEWS - Iran vows to fight to the finish

SOCCER NEWS - Iran vows to fight to the finish

Post by MrMojoMa » Thu, 18 Jun 1998 04:00:00

Reuters

SAINT-ETIENNE, France -- Iran coach Jalal Talebi said Sunday his side would
"fight to the last" despite Sunday's 1-0 World Cup defeat by Yugoslavia.
"We played a fair game and did our best and there was nothing shameful in
this game for us," Talebi said.

"Our mission is not finished, we have to play against the U.S. and Germany
and we know they will be hard games.

"Each game has a different meaning for us but we will fight to a standstill.
If we are going to die, then we will die standing. We will fight to the
last."

Yugoslavia won thanks to a 73rd-minute goal from Sinisa Mihajlovic, who
scored direct from a free kick from just outside the Iranian penalty area.

Yugoslav coach Slobodan Santrac said he had been disappointed by his team's
performance and thought his players might have overtrained before the finals
started.

"The first half was very difficult for us and you can see that in the World
Cup every game is difficult," Santrac said. "But it wasn't so much the tough
opponents as our own weaknesses in the first half, particularly in midfield.

"We played better in the second half but I don't know the reasons why the
team didn't play as well as they can.

"The hard preparations we had in Switzerland took their toll and I hope we
will have enough time to recover by the time we play Germany."

Yugoslavia's Slavisa Jokanovic said his side had been lucky to win the group
F match.

"It was a very difficult game, they defended very, very tightly and it was
difficult to get through. We were really lucky to get these three points,"
he said.