Iran’s Team Melli drew 0-0 with Montenegro in TSV Stadion (Hartberg), Austria. The friendly match was the third for Team Melli and the second scoreless result in aa row which was repeat of the same result against Belarus.
The match saw Queiroz field his strongest side after the camp was completed with the arrival of European based players.
the gameplan of Queiroz was the familiar a 5-4-1 formation a plan which emphasizes strong and solid defense. In Earnest the plan worked well in both matches in Austria despite the modest form of the opposition.
Montenegro was never the serious opposition that Iran was looking fir in this match where Iran was at full strength. Despite a number of their players playing in major European leagues , the team was no more than a run of the mill team which resorted to some rough tackling on occasion to compensate for their lack of running or skill. There was only one realy scoring chances by this team during the match. In general Montenegro was quite disappointing and nothing ike the team that battled well against the likes of England , Ukraine and Poland in the World Cup qualifiers.
However , with the end of season , it is not very surprising that the players have lost their appetite and looking for a well earned rest while some enjoy watching the World Cup on TV.
The match saw the early withdrawal of Hashim Beikzadeh Team Melli’s left back, who limped of the field after quarter of an hour in pain. His facial expression and the concerned shown around him at the bench , was indicative of perhaps a serious re-occurrence of an old injury.The left back might not make the World Cup list, however his injury status will be known and announced by the medical team after close inspection.
The match itself mostly played in the middle of the filed with little action at the goals. at a alter stage. Mladen Božović was the busier of the two goalkeepers but mostly picking easy balls or crosses. With Iran defense sitting comfortably , this allowed the right flank through Khosrow Heydari to go on his famous runs and send some good crosses. Backed by Askan Dejagah , the right side was the most effective and created a;most all the chances.
27th minute a free kick was one by Iran which Dejagah took. His powerful shot was superbly parried by Montenegro keeper Božović. 4 minutes later Shojae controlled a high ball and cleverly dribbled past his marker allowing himself a clear sight of the goal. His shot however , was so feeble and disappointing that Božović handled as if it was a back pass!
While Iran was solid defensively and hardly allowed the opposition any breathing space in both matches,the offensive line has left a lot to be desired.
The first half ended goalless.
Early in the second half , Central defender Montazeri had a good run and crossed accurately into the box. Nekounam intercepted and placed his header well to the left side of Božović who was left helpless, unfortunately the ball missed the target by inches.
on the hour , Queiroz introduced 3 young guns Hajsafy, Jahanbakhsh and Azmoun into the match to improve the running and the offensive front. This was Sardar Azmoun’s debut match. Despite their running and energy , the young players failed to penetrate the solid Montenegro defense.
on 65th minute Stevan Jovetić runs well passed several Iranian players and eventually is stopped by a foul outside the box by Nekounam, who receives a yellow card for his effort. The Manchester City player decides to take the free kick himself but his effort is well wide and high of Ahmadi’s goal.
on 77th minute a lose ball is collected by Hajsafy who shoots on the volley but narrowly misses the low post.
Both Azmoun and Jahanbakhsh tried their luck , but none of their efforts seriously threatened the Montenegro goal
one minute left to the end , Ahmadi nearly was so close to producing a blunder after he miss-controlled a bad back pass. However, his quick reflex after losing the ball saved his blushes.
in the dying seconds Nekounam tried a long range shot which was comfortably handled by the substitute goalkeeper. saved .
Team Melli displayed a well defined and organized defensive game, despite the poor opposition, However the offensive line and the goal drought remains a serious concern. Queiroz has played all his cards in these matches with a couple more to come. He needs to pull a rabbit out of the hat , if he is thinking of winning and that cannot be achieved unless his team scores.
Monday 26th May 2014
Iran – Montenegro
TSV Stadion – Hartberg , Austria
- Referee: R. Eisner
Montenegro :Mladen Božović (59′ S. Balić) ; Marko Baša (61′ M. Simić ), Eisad Zverotić, Sasa Balić , Marko Vešović, , Marko Tomašević , Branko Bošković (65′ D. Nikač) , Miroje Jovanović , Nikola S. Vukčević , Stevan Jovetić (72′ M. Bakić) , Luka Đorđević (70′ B. Janković)
Iran: Rahman AHMADI; Hashim BEIGZADEH (15′ Mehrdad POOLADI), AmirHossein SADEGHI (68′ Ahmad ALE NEMEH) , Pejman MONTAZERI , Jalal HOSSEINI (46′ Steven BEITASHOUR) , Khosrow HEYDARI (61′ AliReza JAHANBAKHSH), Andranik TEYMOURIAN , Ashkan DEJAGAH (61′ Ehsan HAJSAFY) , Javad NEKOUNAM , Masoud SHOJAEI , Reza GHOOCHANNELAD (61′ Saedar AZMOUN)