Posts Tagged ‘Iran’
At the Azadi Stadium in Tehran this evening, Iran romped to a comfortable 4-0 win over hapless Lebanon in Group A of the Asian World Cup Qualifiers to keep themselves right in the mix for the automatic qualification spots. Goals from Mohamad Khalatbari, Reza Ghoochannejhad and a brace from Esteghlal midfielder Javad Nekounam easily saw off the Lebanese, who finish their campaign bottom of the group with only five points from their eight matches. Carlos Queiroz’ Iran team move up into second, leapfrogging Uzbekistan with one game left to play.
Iran‘s win means that fourth placed Qatar have now lost any slim hopes they still had of reaching the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. That leaves three teams vying for two automatic qualification spots going into the last round of fixtures next week when leaders South Korea host Iran and the Uzbeks take on Qatar. Whichever of the top three misses out on an automatic spot will at least now be guaranteed to finish third and make the play-off against the third placed team from Group B.
Uzbekistan need to win their final match to have any chance of coming in the top two, and they will be favourites to do so at home in Tashkent against the already eliminated Qataris. If they draw or lose then South Korea and Iran will both qualify whatever the result between them in Ulsan, but should the Uzbeks win then they will progress with the Koreans if South Korea beat Iran. An Uzbek win couple with a draw in the other match would mean it comes down to goal difference between Uzbekistan and Iran and likewise an Uzbek win coupled with an Iranian win would mean it comes down to goal difference between Uzbekistan and South Korea, so it’s going to be fascinating watching that unfold next week.
The teams were:
Iran: Ahmadi, Montazeri, Heydari, Nekounam, Shojaei (Mosalman 69), Teymourian, Hosseini, Beikzadeh (Hajsafi 80), Jabari (Rezaei 71), Ghoochannejhad, Khalatbari
Lebanon: Hassan, Jounaidi, Daher, A Ahmad Atwi, Maatouk, Chamass, Salameh (Mansour 76), Chaito (Matar 45+1), Kojok (M Atwi 67), Shamsin, Zain Tahhan
The current Group A table is as follows:
There were four crucial matches in the Asian section of the World Cup 2014 qualification tournament this week with the headline news being that Japan became the first team to secure their qualification. They cannot now be overtaken at the top of Group B following their draw with Australia and Oman‘s victory over Iraq. Japan had gone behind to a late goal from Tommy Oar, but they won a late penalty to equalise through Keisuke Honda and draw 1-1. Oman‘s 1-0 win over Iraq in Muscat came courtesy of an Ismail Al Ajmi goal in injury time at the end of the first half.
Any of the other four teams from Group B could still finish in second spot and seal automatic qualification for the finals behind the Japanese. Oman are in pole position on nine points but they have played a game more than the other three. The remaining fixtures are Australia v Jordan and Iran v Japan on Tuesday the 11th of June and Australia v Iraq and Jordan v Oman on Tuesday the 18th of June.
In Group A Qatar and Lebanon saw their hopes of automatic qualification ended and indeed Lebanon are now completely out as they can no longer even make the play off for the fifth spot following their 1-1 draw with South Korea in Beirut. Lebanon had looked set to win as they led for most of the match through Hassan Maatouk’s 12th minute strike but their hopes were dashed deep into injury time when Chi-Woo Kim equalised for the Koreans, who now top the group. Iran beat Qatar 1-0 away in Doha with a goal from Reza Ghoochannejhad to keep the pressure on South Korea and Uzbekistan at the top of the table. The remaining Group A fixtures are South Korea v Uzbekistan and Iran v Lebanon on Tuesday the 11th of June and South Korea v Iran and Uzbekistan v Qatar on Tuesday the 18th of June.
The current group tables are as follows:
The twelfth season of the Iran Pro League, or Persian Gulf Cup as it is now known, has drawn to a close with the final round of fixtures across the country on Friday night. Esteghlal, who had already been crowned champions, signed off with a 1-2 defeat at home to Damash Gilan. Tractor Sazi leapfrogged outgoing champions Sepahan into second place with a home win over Persepolis but both Tractor and Sepahan had already secured qualification for the group stage of next season’s AFC Champions League. Foolad held off the challenge of Naft Tehran to finish fourth and make it into the Champions League qualifying round.
At the other end of the table, Zob Ahan’s 1-0 win away at Malavan condemned Aluminium Hormozgan to relegation alongside the already relegated Sanat Naft, Paykan and Gahar Zagros, but Zob Ahan must still face a relegation play-off to preserve their top flight status. Jalal Rafkhaei of Malavan finished top scorer in the league with nineteen goals. The final day results were:
Fajr Sepasi 2-2 Rah Ahan
Gahar Zagros 0-3 Saipa
Malavan 0-1 Zob Ahan
Naft Tehran 0-0 Foolad
Saba Qom 0-1 Mes Kerman
Sanat Naft 2-0 Paykan
Sepahan 2-2 Aluminium Hormozgan
Tractor Sazi 3-1 Persepolis
Esteghlal 1-2 Damash Gilan
The final league positions were as follows:
2) Tractor Sazi
5) Naft Tehran
6) Mes Kerman
8) Rah Ahan
9) Saba Qom
11) Damash Gilan
12) Fajr Sepasi
14) Zob Ahan
15) Aluminium Hormozgan
16) Sanat Naft
18) Gahar Zagros