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We Have to Blame Ourselves: Mahdavikia

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Iran U-23 football coach Mehdi Mahdavikia says that they have to blame themselves for the loss against Turkmenistan.

- Sports news -

Ten-man Iran lost to Turkmenistan 2-1 in Group A of the 2022 AFC U23 Asian Cup on Saturday.

"We only have ourselves to blame for this defeat. I think we lost ourselves in the game, especially in the second half," said Mahdavikia. "Initially we had a good start in the first 30 minutes which led to the opening goal.

"But a lack of concentration allowed our opponents to level the score. We tried our best to score in the second period but with a man down, that made it difficult for us.

"Coming into the tie, we knew how Turkmenistan would play having lost their opening game. Our analysis was spot on as they matched our game to score the equalizer. We were punished for our mistake in the second half," he added.

The battle for second place will go down to the final match day with Iran facing Uzbekistan on Tuesday, while Turkmenistan will meet Qatar.