Marcello Lippi praises Team-Melli

( China coach Marcello Lippi praised Iran’s defense after suffering a 1-0 defeat to Team Melli in the 2018 World Cup qualifier in Tehran on Tuesday.

In Group A, Iran maintained its undefeated run by edging China at home.

Mehdi Taremi, the scorer of the match-winner in the last outing against Qatar, was again the hero by scoring the only goal. With the three points, Carlos Queiroz’s team maintained its four-point cushion at the summit and a victory against Uzbekistan at home in the next fixture in June can book its passage to Russia 2018 regardless of other results.

“The experience of the last two rounds has shown that there is still room for us to improve,” said Lippi, who took over as China coach in October. “They were two good matches, but when facing a strong side like Iran our defence needs to improve.”

“Iran has not suffered a loss and has not conceded a single goal so far. It shows it is a strong team who takes advantage of a good coach,” the Italian added.