Team Melli lost its very slim chance of qualifying to the second round of the World cup when it was defeated by Bosnia-Herzegovina 3-1 at Arena Fonte Nova Salvador.
Bosnia goals were scored by E. Dzeko 23′ M. Pjanic 59′ and A. Vrsajevic 83′ while Iran scored through Reza Ghoochanejad 82′ assisted by Javad Nekounam.
The only consolation in this match which Bosnia-Herzegovina controlled without much effort from the word go , as if it is the team that requires 3 points to qualify , is that Iran finally scored a goal to save some blushes and by no one more deserving than the hardworking Reza Ghoochannejad.
In the first sign of lack of ambition by Carlos Queiroz in a match that Iran desperately needed to win and score goals to qualify for the next round, Queiroz elected to stick to the same line up that played the last match against Argentina. Shojaei , probably the worst of Iran performers , once again was selected to start over Heydari and Jahanbakhsh.
With the match progressing , it was evident the Iran lacks the fire power, ambition and skills to challenge the Bosnians. The defense that operated so marvelously in the last two matches , crumbled against Bosnia with simple mistakes and lack of pace by the defenders. Traces of fatigue was clear on the defenders.
up front in the offensive line where Team Melli really needed to deliver, the lack of organization lead the two front players Dejagah and Ghoochannejad to fall in offside trap in numerous cases. Whatever crosses from the flanks by the backs of Team Melli were easily handled by the towering Amir Begovic in goal for Bosnia. Begovic who is one of the better goalkeepers in the English Premiere League is a master at catching them. The crosses which continued in the second half when Heydari replaced Shojaei, aimed at the two forwards, mostly ended up with Begovic and with ease. Such futile game plan is indicative of the failure of the coaching team of Iran to properly analyze the opposition.
Overall , it was a disappointing performance and result for Iran , however , not entirely unexpected either. The biggest surprise was the lack of ambition by the team as a unit. There were far too many factors against Team Melli in this match to win it and qualify ahead of Nigeria. The undue pressure on the players, fatigue , lack of stamina , lack of quality players , organized and high quality of Bosnia players and a definite lack of ambition by the coach were far too much odds for Iran to register a win.
Initial reports from several TV panels mostly indicate that Iran’s defeat was a result but the disappointing part was the ;lack of fighting spirit and the defensive organization that Team Melli made a name of itself.