Ansarifard vs Oman
Team Melli lost its friendly preparation match against Oman 3-1 in Muscat. Oman scored two goals in the first half scored by Abdulaziz Al Miqbali (19′) and AbdulSalam A’amer (28′). In the second half Jabber Al Owais (60′) scored the third. Moshesn Mosallman scored a consolation goal right at the end of the match from a free kick.
The poorly attended match was held in a hot and humid condition between two makeshift teams. Team Melli played without Esteghlal players who are involved in the AFC Champions League and most of the legionnaires , while Oman was playing with their reserve missing all their stars.
The lack of attendance in the stadium was attributed to the extremely harsh & uncomfortable weather condition and the absence of Oman star players. Wigan Athletics’ goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi is injured , so is the other Omani household name, Emad Al Hosani of Saudi Club Al Ahli. With the Oman League championship play-off being contested right after this match, it deprived Oman of the players of two top clubs. The host had to be content with the reserve team for this international match and the fans subsequently did not show much enthusiasm to attend. On the other hand, there was an admirable presence of Team Melli fans and expatriate Iranians based in Oman.
The match itself seems like a continuation of Queriroz futile offensive game strategies. Team Melli only scored from a dead ball situation, however , during that whole match it failed to create any real threat against the reserve Oman team. The tactics of the team also failed to offer any variation on the same fundamental reliance on attacks from the flanks.
In the first half, Oman keeper only had to handle the ball once against the Iranian attack as most of the offensive moves of Team Melli did not create any pressure on the keeper. The Frenchman Paul Le Guen, coach of Oman has already read team Melli well as he was quoted in Omani media as saying that Iranian style of play depends on the flanks. Indeed that was the only method that Team Melli attacked and it was well controlled by the Omani team.
Iran started the match brightly with some nice exchanges, but to no real threat on the opposition goal. However the hot condition soon took its toll especially in the middle of the field. On the other hand, The Oman team despite playing this line up for the first time , played a very well balanced match with the defense not allowing Team Melli players any real chances while the Omani forwards despite the fewer chances , skillfully utilized their opportunities and took advantage of some poor Iranian defensive coverage on both goals.
The first goal came in the 19th minute from a corner kick which was not properly cleared by Iran defense to reach the unmarked Miqbali who blasted the ball into the net. On the 28th minute, another poor defensive coverage gave the Oman defender Al A’mer who ran with the ball at least 20 meters unopposed and had all the time in the world to take the ball up to 30 meters from Iran’s goal and shot from there to blast the ball into the top right corner of Ahmadi’s goal. The out stretched Ahmadi had no chance in saving this magnificent strike.
First match ended 2-0 for the host.
The second half started like the first with Iran dominating the proceeding for the first 10 minutes, but the shaky Iranian defense and the unsure Rahman Ahmadi nearly spoiled it early for Team Melli. There was early warnings that the defense was not secure enough when Ahmadi fumbled the ball into an on rushing Oman forward who astonishingly missed an easy sitter to add a 3rd goal.
However, the 3rd goal was registered soon after when fom a corner kick , the Omani defender half Jabber Al Owais out jumped the Iranian defenders to score an easy goal amongst a crowd of Iranian players..
Substitute Karim Ansarifard made some good moves initially , but his contribution just about ended there as he was far from effective for the rest of the half. Mohammed Gholami , Mosalman and Bakhtiyar Rahmani were substituted in the second half to energize the failing Midfield and offensive lines.
Combination of the harsh weather condition, with high humidity , lack of cohesion between the players and poor skills by the players failed to improve the result for Team Melli. To save Iran’s blushes, a beautiful goal from Mohsen Mosalman free kick right outside the Oman box, was scored right at the end of the match.
In general, it was one of those forgettable matches of Team Melli that is alarmingly becoming too common. If it was a test run for the upcoming Qatar match , then the signs are not encouraging at all. Queiroz and his men need to pull up all the tricks up their sleeve to make it to the World Cup.