Iran has a chance to make history on Thursday (AEDT) when they face Bosnia-Herzegovina at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil. With a win over their Group F rivals and a loss by Nigeria in their last match, Team Melli will advance to the Round of 16 for the first time in any World Cup.
Iran has appeared in the World Cup a total of three times before and they have never survived the group stages in 1978 (Argentina), 1998 (France) and 2006 (Germany). In 2014, they have a chance to advance to the KO round if they can get favourable results in their game and the other Group F game between Nigeria and Argentina.
"Hopefully this third match will bring another step up. We'll definitely be going for goals and we still have a chance to go through, I'm sure of that. What we need to do is take the good things we've done so far, improve a little bit in other areas and give everything to beat Bosnia. If we do that - and I think it's a game we can win - we can still qualify,” said Iran’s Ashkan Dejagah to FIFA.COM
In the eventuality that Iran and Argentina finish with four points apiece after group play, the following will be considered to break the tie (in this order); goal difference, number of goals scored and head-to-head records.
If Iran beats Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1-0l and Argentina triumphs over Nigeria by the same margin, both Iran and Argentina will have 4 points earned in the group stage; same goal difference and a tied head-to-head record. In this case, FIFA will flip a coin to decide which squad will make the last 16
"We didn't come here to win the trophy, nobody expected that from Iran, but we raised our expectations and we raised our dreams. We want to play the match with one goal in mind - to fulfil our dream of reaching the last 16,” added Iran’s coach Carlos Queiroz. “This is our World Cup final, it's as simple as that”
A draw with Zmajevi will mean Team Melli’s elimination from the tournament and a win or by Nigeria against Argentina will also mean Iran’s ouster.