Islamic Republic of Iran will be determined to continue their journey towards a long awaited fourth AFC Asian Cup™ title when they face Qatar in the semi-finals of the 2023 edition on Wednesday.

Iran v Qatar: Facts & Figures:

Qatar, however, will be equally up for the task as they look to defend the title they won in resounding fashion in UAE 2019.

Impressive record
Iran have won their last six matches against Qatar, including a 1-0 win in the AFC Asian Cup 2015 group stage. Iran outscored Qatar 11-1 in those six games.

Good run
This will be Iran’s eighth AFC Asian Cup  semi-final, the joint-highest with Korea Republic. 

Semi-final win overdue
Team Melli, however, have not progressed past the semi-final stage in their last six attempts stretching back to 1980, with Japan defeating them at this stage in the 2019 edition. 

Three-time winners
Iran won three consecutive editions between 1968 and 1976, a feat which no other team has managed. A fourth title will draw them level with Japan at the top of the all-time list. 

Elite list
Qatar are the ninth team to reach the semi-finals of AFC Asian Cup in two consecutive editions. 

Always on target
Qatar have not failed to score a goal in their eight AFC Asian Cup knockout stage games.

Goal overdue 
Iran’s Sardar Azmoun has failed to score in his last three appearances in the AFC Asian Cup, his longest goalless streak in the competition. He has, though, made three assists in his last three matches, two more than in his first 11 games.

Creative force
Qatar’s Akram Afif has created 3.5 chances per game when he starts in AFC Asian Cup matches (38 chances in 11 starts), more than any other player who started at least seven games since 2007. 

Potent forwardlines
Both sides boast extremely powerful strikeforces with Iran set to welcome Mehdi Taremi back from suspension, with the forward expected to partner Azmoun. Qatar, meanwhile, will have Afif, Almoez Ali and Hassan Al Haydos leading their charge. 

Tight backlines
Iran will head into the semi-final showdown having conceded only four goals while Qatar have been even tighter at the back, with their net only being breached twice in five matches. 

BY: Nadeem Faisal Baiga