Departing Iran coach Carlos Queiroz told his team to learn from their 2014 FIFA World Cup experiences to enjoy success in the future.
Iran still had a chance of reaching the last 16 from Group F, only to suffer a 3-1 loss to Bosnia-Herzegovina in Salvador on Wednesday while the Super Eagles of Nigeria qualified for the Round of 16 despite a narrow 3-2 defeat to Argentina.
Queiroz, not offered a new deal, said Iran were capable of success at the showpiece event.
“The most important thing is to learn. If my players work and invest in the future, they have the same chances as any other national team in the world,” he said.
“There is a long way to go, but we must start working again ‘tomorrow’.”
Edin Dzeko, Miralem Pjanic and Avdija Vrsajevic scored as Bosnia secured their first ever World Cup win, while Reza Ghoochannejhad was on the scoresheet for Iran.
Queiroz lamented mistakes made by his team and their failure to take their opportunities.
“We tried our best. The players fought and left everything on the field, but the experience of the Bosnian players in our last group game prevailed,” he said.
“It’s a pity we didn’t take our chances and we made mistakes in our defensive line, ” the former Real Madrid coach said.
Iran drew goalless with the Nigerian national team and still had the possibility of reaching the knock out stages at the expense of the Nigerian side but failed to do so with the outcome of Wednesday’s games.