Bosnia-Herzegovina vs Iran: The day that could have been ends in divorce for Iran as Carlos Queiroz quits following World Cup exit

A 3-1 defeat to Bosnia-Herzegovina saw Iran exit the tournament and their coach leave immediately after failing to negotiate a new contract

It was a day that they began with hopes of making history but instead Iran exited the World Cup yesterday with a reality check. The 3-0 defeat by Bosnia and subsequent confirmation from coach Carlos Queiroz that he would not be staying in his post represented a double setback for Team Melli.

Queiroz announced that he had been unable to renegotiate terms on a new contract immediately after the game, declaring in his post-match press conference that: “You can’t have a marriage when there is only one side that wants to marry. The last 11 months I’ve waited and waited and there was a moment I was forced take a decision and today I just came here to say thank you.”

Queiroz, the former Real Madrid coach and Manchester United assistant manager, spent three years in charge of Iran. He faced difficulties many other World Cup coaches do not have to worry about – such as international sanctions limiting his choice of friendly opponents – but oversaw two promising Group F displays against Nigeria and Argentina before yesterday’s match in Salvador, where a victory would actually have put them into the last 16 for the first time.

While his Bosnia counterpart Safet Susic accused Iran of overcautious tactics, Queiroz put their loss down to the impact of fatigue on players accustomed to playing less demanding Iranian domestic football. “We have played three-world class teams and I saw some exhausted players,” said Queiroz. “Bosnia were playing on one level and we were not able to.”

 

The only consolation for Iran came with Charlton forward Reza Ghoochannejad’s late goal which ensured they at least found the net once in Brazil. Ghoochannejad said he would be sorry to see Queiroz depart. “The things he showed us and taught us are unbelievable, he helped Iranian football move forward 20 years. We don’t want to replace him, we hope that he stays because he is such a big asset for Iranian football.”

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