Gurgaon:The Iranian women's team might have lost 1-3 to India in this AFC Asia Cup qualifier match played in Gurgaon last week but the loud and noisy 100 odd Iranian women supporters in the stands made sure they won the battle off the field.
"We've just started playing football. Lots of people play football in Iran, it's supported by the government. We're kind of in level one now, you know, and we have to go to level two," said Katayoun Khosrowyar, Member, Iranian women's footy team.
Women's football in Iran is only a year and a half old, compared to a 70-year-old tradition for the men. But as one of the players claimed "Women in Iran would even eclipse men when it comes to living the game."
But it's a big step towards bigger things for sure. With their headscarves and long sleeved jerseys and pants, these women may look different, but there's not much difference when it comes to the spirit of the sport.
"Football is the life for all people in Iran," said an Iranian girl.
"Its very special, we have to use hijab, and running in that is very hard. We're so happy they came to India, I think that's so cool, you know," exulted another.
In Iran they're still not allowed in stadiums to watch the men's team play, but that has hardly had any effect on the passion for the game. While back home, the women can play football only in front of women audiences. But with their growing International experience, now the Iranian women's team has grown accustomed to performing before mixed crowds.
"Its okay, we're used to it now. In Jordan we played in front of men crowds, so it's cool, it's a normal thing now," said Katayoun Khosrowyar, Member, Iranian women's footy team.
And how far can these Iranian beauties go for the love of the game? Some of them tell us that marriage isn't on the agenda, as they're already married to soccer!