0246 GMT August 10, 2022
Head coach Maryam Irandoost announced Iran’s 23-woman squad for the upcoming AFC Women’s Asian Cup – kicking off in India on January 20.
Iran will get its campaign underway on the opening day of the competition against the host in Group A, which also features eight-time champion China, and Chinese Taipei.
Irandoost’s team will then take on China – the most decorated team in the history of the competition – on January 23 in Mumbai before squaring off against Chinese Taipei three days later.
Four semifinalists of the 12-team event will qualify for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, with the final slot being decided through inter-confederation playoffs.
Iran made history in September when Zohreh Koudaei saved two spot kicks to lead Irandoost’s women to a 4-2 shootout victory over Jordan for a first-ever berth in the Asian Cup.
A place in the finals could already be considered as a huge success for Iran, which had even been removed from the FIFA Women’s World Ranking for five months – for what the international football governing body had described as lack of competitive action for two years – before regaining its spot last April.
Iran’s full squad for 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup:
Goalkeepers: Zohreh Koudaei, Maryam Yektaei, Arefeh Seyyed-Kazemi
Defenders: Fatemeh Amineh, Hadiyeh Kor, Melika Motevalli, Ghazaleh Banitalebi, Zohreh Jalali, Fatemeh Adeli, Behnaz Taherkhani
Midfielders: Zahra Sarbali, Sara Zohrabinia, Samaneh Chahkandi, Yasaman Farmani, Elham Farahmand, Zahra Ma’soumi, Melika Mohammadi, Marziyeh Nik-khah, Sana Sadeqi
Strikers: Negin Zandi, Afsaneh Chatrenoor, Hajar Dabbaghi, Sara Qomi