Coach: Iraq deserves more

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Iraq coach Wolfgang Sidka believed the defending champions more than matched rivals Iran despite losing 2-1 in their first group match of 2011 Asian Cup on Tuesday night.

"It was as expected a tough match from two teams," said the German coach after the match. "The game was one of the toughest and most exciting matches here and there was a lot of fighting spirit shown in the game. I think that Iran played very well and it was a match of the same level. We created some chances and for me it was a 50-50 game.

Younus Mahmoud gave Iraq the lead 13 minutes into the game but Reza Rezaei levelled for Iran just before the break and Iman Mobali claimed a late winner six minutes from full time.

"What we missed today was ball retention and it was difficult to pass the ball around because Iran put pressure on us in the second half,"said Sidka .

Though he was pleased with the performance of his team on the whole, Sidka acknowledged that there is still room for improvement, particularly when dealing with set-pieces.

"It was a good end for Iran but the goal that we conceded was from an unnecessary foul and we knew before the match that they were dangerous from free kicks," he added.

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