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Iran's Daei to play against Portugal, says coach

Written by: Staff
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FRANKFURT, June 16 (Reuters) Iran veteran striker Ali Daei will play the team's second World Cup Group D match against Portugal, his coach Branko Ivankovic said today.

''After the match against Mexico, a few players were struggling but now all are fit. Daei is an important leader and can make sure that we are going to get a good result,'' Ivankovic said in a news conference.

Ali Daei, 37, Iran's captain and the only footballer to score more than 100 international goals, looked uncertain for Saturday's match against Portugal after a back injury and has come under criticism for his performance in the first match.

Iran lost their Group D opener against Mexico 3-1. They also play Angola on June 21.

REUTERS DH PC2253

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