Qualification rounds Group E
|Date||Comp.||Home team||Away team||Final score|
|14.Jan.2009||ACQ||Iran||Singapore||6 – 0|
|28.Jan.2009||ACQ||Thailand||Iran||0 – 0|
|14.Nov.2009||ACQ||Iran||Jordan||1 – 0|
|22.Nov.2009||ACQ||Jordan||Iran||1 – 0|
|06.Jan.2010||ACQ||Singapore||Iran||1 – 3|
|03.Mar.2010||ACQ||Iran||Thailand||1 – 0|
Asian Cup 2011
Team Melli Squad
AFC Asian Cup Finals – Qatar 2011
‘Group D matches’
|Date||Stage||Home Team||Away Team||Result||Venue||Goal scorers|
|11-Jan-2011||Group D||Korea DPR||UAE||0 - 0||Suheim Bin Hamad Stadium|
|11-Jan-2011||Group D||Iraq||Iran||1 - 2||Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium||Iraq: Younis Mahmood (13′)
Iran: Gholamreza Rezaei (42′); Iman Mobali (84′)
|11-Jan-2011||Group D||Iran||Korea DPR||1 - 0||Suheim Bin Hamad Stadium||Iran: Ansarifard (62′)|
|11-Jan-2011||Group D||UAE||Iraq||0 - 1||Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium||Iraq: W. Abbas (o.g.) (93+3′)|
|11-Jan-2011||Group D||Iraq||Korea DPR||1 - 0||Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium||Iraq: Jassim (22′)|
|11-Jan-2011||Group D||UAE||Iran||0 - 3||Suheim Bin Hamad Stadium||Iran: Afshin (70′); M. Nouri (83′) ;W. Abbas (o.g.) (93+2′)|
|Date||Comp.||Home team||Away team||Final score|
|22.Jan.2011||Quarter Finals||Korea Rep.||Iran||1 – 0 AET|
Monday, 03 January 2011
Doha: Andranik Teymourian has set his sights on victory over defending champions Iraq in Iran’s opening game of the 2011 AFC Asian Cup finals as Team Melli seek to end a 35-year continental title drought.
Iran last won the AFC Asian Cup in 1976 – the third of three consecutive successes – and the current team has been given a difficult draw in the group stages, where they will face DPR Korea and the United Arab Emirates in addition to neighbors Iraq. But former Bolton Wanderers midfielder Teymourian, pictured in action against Qatar, is confident Iran can have a positive start to their AFC Asian Cup campaign.
“The last time we played against Iraq we won 2-1 in the West Asian Championships,” he said.
“I think we did okay in that game but the Asian Cup is very different and we want to go to the final of this tournament because if you win the Asian Cup you can get everything you want in your life, you can play in Europe or whatever you like. “That’s a difficult game against Iraq but I’m sure we can win the first game of the tournament.”
The Iranians returned to Tehran on Monday morning after the completion of their pre-tournament training camp and Afshin Ghotbi’s side left Doha in confident mood after Javad Nekounam scored late in the game to give Iran a 1-0 win over Angola on Sunday evening. That was a second game without defeat for Iran after a 0-0 draw with Qatar earlier in the camp and Teymourian believes the team is improving.
“Everybody has been working hard, the manager, the players and the physios and I’m sure we’ll have a good Asian Cup,” he said. “Everyone wants to keep going and I hope we can go at least to the last four teams and maybe to the final.
“We have had some good training sessions, working two hours every day. We’re not 100 percent yet but with a few days rest I’m sure we’ll be back at a high level and we’ll be better than before.
“The national team is mixed up with young players and experienced players over the last couple of years but I don’t think there’s any pressure on the players. All the players are focused on each game and every game is different than the game we played before. We’re working hard to win the games.”[/su_spoiler] [su_spoiler title=”Iran 2-1 Iraq: Team Melli beats the defending Champions” style=”fancy”]
Wednesday, 12 January 2011
Doha: Iran came from a goal down to beat defending champions Iraq 2-1 at Al Rayyan Stadium on Tuesday and get their AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011™ Group D campaign off to a winning start.
Skipper Younus Mahmood, MVP at the last AFC Asian Cup, had given Iraq the lead after 13 minutes but Gholam Reza Rezaei levelled just before the break before Iman Mobali claimed a late winner six minutes from full time.
A minute’s silence was observed before the kickoff as a mark of respect for the victims of Sunday’s aircrash in Iran in which nearly 80 people died after an Iran Air jet carrying 106 people attempted an emergency landing in a snowstorm in the northwestern Iranian city of Orumiyeh. Iraq looked the more lively in the opening exchanges and had the first chance of the night after four minutes when Mahmood sprang the offside trap but his shot was saved by Mahdi Rahmati.
The early pressure paid off nine minutes later, though, when Emad Mohammed headed a cross from the left back across goal and with Rahmati out of position, Qatar-based striker Mahmood was able to slide home the opener from virtually on the line. Iran could have levelled in the 24th minute when Mobali’s free-kick was met by the head of Hadi Aghili but Iraq goalkeeper Mohammed Kassid was equal to the effort.
Iran continued to press forward and had another chance in the 39th minute when, after Jalal Hosseini and Javad Nekonam failed to reach a ball into the area, Mohammad Gholami fired an effort over the crossbar.
However, Afshin Ghotbi’s side finally equalised three minutes before the interval when Andranik Teymourian provided a neat pass for Rezaei to fire past Kassid and into the back of the net. Iraq almost regained the lead immediately when Hawar Mohammed’s free kick was headed goalwards by Ala’a Abdulzahra but the ball was tipped over by Rahmati for a corner. Iraq began the second half in the same vein as the first and nearly retook the lead four minutes after the break but Salam Saeed’s attempt was too high.
Iran, though, began to reassert their authority and threatened to go in front when Gholami capitalised on a defensive mistake by Iraq before feeding Rezaei but he could only fire into the side netting.
The Iranians were rewarded six minutes before the final whistle when Iraq’s Samer Saeed gave away an unnecessary foul by pulling Zob Ahan forward Mohammad Reza Khalatbari’s shirt and Mobali found the back of the net with the resultant free-kick. Iran could then have extended their lead shortly afterwards when Pejman Nouri’s free-kick from the left picked out Aghili but his powerful header was too high and flew over the crossbar.
Published on Wednesday, 12 January 2011 04:11
Doha: Iran coach Afshin Ghotbi revealed that he always knew the three-time champions were capable of victory even after going behind in their AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011™ Group D opener against rivals Iraq at Al Rayyan Stadium on Tuesday.
Team Melli secured a 2-1 victory on Tuesday despite having had to battle back from a 13th minute goal by Younus Mahmoud. Gholam Reza Rezaei levelled the scores three minutes before the break and Iman Mobali scored the winner six minutes from time to seal the points. And though he conceded the match was a difficult one for his side, Ghotbi had little doubt that Iran would be walking away with the three points in the bag.
“The game was complicated for us because of the rivalry between the two sides and also it was the first match of the tournament, while Iraq are the defending champions,” he said.
“After going one down, I was confident that we could come back. I have experience of playing against Iraq and they are the masters of killing time so I thought that if we score before the half time then we have a chance to win. “We started the game a little stressed and that had something to do with the mistakes that we made. Then the game became more organised and I’m sure we can play even better football in the next game.” Ghotbi dedicated the win to the victims of Sunday’s air crash in Iran, which resulted in almost 80 people losing their lives after the plane had attempted an emergency landing in the north western Iranian city of Orumiyeh.
“I would like first to dedicate this victory to the families who lost their relatives in the air crash,” added the former Perspolis coach. “The players tried their best to get the win as a sign of condolence for those families.
“Football is only a sport and if we can do something special then we are happy about that.” Ghotbi also praised the rivalry Iran share with Iraq on the pitch and believes the desire to claim derby honors from both sides was clear to see. “There is so much rivalry and history with the two teams,” continued the 46-year-old.
“It was an emotional and a fighting game and our players managed to make a good comeback after conceding an early goal in the match.”
“Whenever two neighbors play together there is always rivalry. There is big rivalry between Iran and Iraq and it has been around for a long time. It’s a special one and it’s fantastic to have it because this makes football special.”
Saturday, 15 January 2011
Doha: Iran became the first side to book their place in the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011™ quarter-finals as Karim Ansarifard’s goal midway through the second-half secured a narrow 1-0 victory over DPR Korea. Ansarifard got on the end of Pejman Nouri’s cross to break the deadlock in the 63rd minute at Qatar Sports Club Stadium as Iran claimed their second consecutive victory in Group D following the opening 2-1 triumph over neighbours Iraq.
The opening exchanges saw plenty of commitment from both sides but chances were hard to come by and it took until the 16th minute for Jong Tae-se to warm the hands of Iran keeper Mahdi Rahmati, with An Young-hak driving the rebound well off target from outside the box.
Ansari Farid then saw a goal ruled out for handball as the game settled into a midfield battle before Jong once again was presented with a sight of goal five minutes from the break after a ball was lifted over the Iran defense, but the striker’s angled shot was held by Rahmati.
That prompted a flurry of action as Kim Kuk-jin tried his luck from some way out but his effort flew well wide before Nouri sliced a volley from the edge of the box horribly off target after the midfielder had made a late run.
The second period began in much the same vein as the opening half.
Mohammad Reza Khalatbari’s weak shot was easily dealt with at the near post by Ri Myong-guk in the 58th minute but five minutes later, Iran took the lead.
Nouri latched onto a throw in down the left flank and whipped in a cross that Ansarifard managed to steer past the diving Ri and into the far corner to send the lively Iranian support into raptures. Cha Jong-hyok’s low shot from 25 yards forced Rahmati into a low save as he scrambled across his goal to palm the ball away to safety. The North Koreans did begin to show more attacking urgency after falling behind and nearly snatched a dramatic equalizer in stoppage time.
Hong Yong-jo managed to escape the attentions of the Iran defense to collect a low cross, before swiveling and firing a powerful shot from 12 yards, only to see his effort graze the top of the Iran crossbar, much to the forward’s anguish as Iran closed out the victory.
- Wednesday, 19 January 2011 20:29
Doha: Iran maintained their 100% record at the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011™ whilst ending the UAE’s quarter-final hopes with a 3-0 victory at Qatar Sports Club Stadium on Wednesday.
The three-time champions had already wrapped up first place in Group D while the UAE had gone into the game needing three points to have a chance of joining Afshin Ghotbi’s side in the last eight. Iran’s Arash Afshin opened the scoring in 70th before seeing his joy cut short when he was sent off two minutes later.
The UAE were then also reduced to 10 men with Khalid Sebil receiving his marching orders before Iran sealed the win with a late Mohammad Nori strike and a Walid Abbas own goal.
Iran had made a number of changes to their first 11 and it was no surprise that the UAE started the stronger as Subait Khater tried his luck from distance after nine minutes, but his shot was straight at keeper Shahab Gordon. The UAE continued to look the more dangerous with Ahmad Khalil seeing his shot rebound off the woodwork before Ismail Matar struck the outside of the post from close range.
Iran were seemingly happy to invite the pressure for the time being, although created a good chance just before the half hour mark when a headed clearance went only as far as Mohammad Nori and the forward hit a first-time shot that flew just wide.
But it was still the UAE who looked the most likely to score as Khalil fired a free-kick over the bar before Matar’s 44th minute strike drifted just wide of Gordan’s far post.
It took until the 60th minute for the first noteworthy chance of the second half to arrive as Ghasem Hadadifar smartly controlled the ball on the edge of the area before sending a dipping volley that needed UAE keeper Majed Nasser to produce a diving save to push the ball away for a corner.
But it was the large contingent of Iranian fans that were cheering when their side finally broke the deadlock in the 70th minute.
Substitute Gholam Reza Rezaei crossed from the right and Mohammad Gholami first crashed a header against the crossbar before then smashing the rebound against the woodwork, but this time Afshin was on hand to stab home the loose ball. Afshin’s joy lasted just two minutes though as he took out Nasser when attempting to challenge for the ball, injuring himself in the process before the midfielder was then shown his second yellow card as he was being stretchered off the pitch.
The UAE were also reduced to 10 men with 11 minutes remaining when Sebil was sent off for a second bookable offence after taking the legs of Haddadifar.
And Iran wrapped up the win when Nouri swept home in the 83rd minute before Abbas knocked the ball into his own net when attempting to prevent Rezai going clean through on goal in stoppage time.
Doha: Andranik Teymourian is expecting a tight tussle when he and his Iran team mates take on Korea Republic in the quarterfinals of the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011 on Saturday.
The two giants of Asian football go into the highly anticipated clash in fine form having both emerged undefeated from the group stages, with Iran completing their Group D fixtures with a 3-0 win over the United Arab Emirates.
That result – achieved with a starting line-up that featured 10 changes from the side that defeated DPR Korea in the previous game – meant Afshin Ghotbi’s team is the only one remaining in the competition with a 100 percent record.
“I think it was a really difficult game because it was the last game and the UAE closed the spaces in the first half,” said Teymourian. “In the second half we started well, we worked hard and we scored three goals.
“I think everybody was confident before the game, everybody’s happy. I hope we can play better against South Korea.
“South Korea is a decent team and they have players who can change the game but we have those kind of players as well. You will see that we can play a very good game against each and I hope we can win again.”
Teymourian backed the manager’s decision to make wholesale changes to his starting line-up as the Iranians had already guaranteed their place at the top of the group prior to the meeting with Srecko Katanec’s side.
“That was the manager’s mentality and it’s his decision who plays,” he said. “A couple of players have played a few games and were tired. South Korea game is important and it was his decision to rest a few players.
“Now we play South Korea and that is the draw, we can’t change it. Everybody’s thinking positively and hopefully we can win again.”
Fate has once again conspired to throw the two teams together in the last eight of the tournament for the fifth successive time.
Both sides boast two victories each with the most recent clash in 2007 going the way of the Koreans, who won 4-2 on penalties after 120 minutes of football could not separate the pair. Ghotbi believes matches between Iran and Korea Republic are what the AFC Asian Cup is all about and the 46-year-old expects Saturday’s encounter at Qatar Sports Club Stadium to prove just as memorable as past meetings.
“Iran against South Korea is a fixture etched in stone at the Asian Cup,” he said.
“It seems that at every tournament the two countries meet and it will be a classic as always. “We started this job 20 months ago with one target and that is to win the Asian Cup for the people of Iran.”
Ghotbi’s confidence of success in Doha has been clear to see throughout the tournament and he remains unwavering in his belief that Iran will be crowned AFC Asian Cup champions for the first time since 1976.
The former Persepolis (Piroozi) boss also has little doubt that Iran can emerge triumphant should the lottery of penalties be required to separate the two, describing his goalkeeper Mahdi Rahmati as the best in Asia.
“It is advantageous for both Iran and Korea Republic to try and win the game in 90 minutes so they can recover for the semi-finals,” added Ghotbi.
“I have the best goalkeeper in Asia and I have penalty takers that are top class. I have no concern that if it goes to penalties, we will come out on top. “The Korean team is very young and I believe if it goes to penalties, they will choke under the pressure.” Much has been made of Ghotbi’s previous experience of working with Korea Republic with the Iranian having spent five years involved with the national team, first as a match analyst and then as assistant coach. And he is confident that his inside knowledge of the mentality of the Korean players will work to Iran’s advantage.
“The Korean team has studied our team. They probably have a very good understanding of how we play,” continued Ghotbi.
“Having said that when you have lived in a culture as I did in Korea then I think personally I have an advantage as I know how they react on their good days and bad days.”
Korea Republic coach Cho Kwang-rae has shrugged off suggestions that Afshin Ghotbi’s experience of Korean football could give the Iran boss the tactical edge when the two Asian football superpowers clash in the last eight of the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011™ on Saturday.
Ghotbi previously worked with the Korean national team for a total of five years, first as a match analyst and then as assistant coach, meaning his past knowledge of the team could be views as a slight advantage for Iran.
However, Korea Republic coach Cho believes much has changed since Ghotbi was part of the set-up and is confident whatever knowledge he has will be of little use now.
“The Korea team keeps changing and developing and our way of football changes every game,” he said. “Afshin Ghotbi’s previous knowledge of Korea might not be useful now. “Both teams have shown good performances in the group stage. It will be an important game for us but also a difficult one. We have studied their team well and I am sure the players will give their best to get to the next round.
“I believe we will also show our fans that we are progressing as time goes by.”
Doha: Defender Cha Du-ri believes it is Iran that should be scared of Korea Republic when the two sides meet in the quarter-finals of the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011™ at Qatar Sports Club Stadium on Saturday.
Iran coach Afshin Ghotbi recently reiterated his belief that Team Melli will be crowned champions come January 29, and they have certainly looked strong at the tournament following three wins from three during the group stage.
But Korea Republic enjoyed one of their best years in football in 2010 as they reached the last 16 of a World Cup on foreign soil for the first time in history, where they also recorded a victory over former Europe champions Greece.
Iran and Korea Republic are certainly no strangers to each other with the two sides meeting in the quarter-finals of the AFC Asian Cup in every edition since 1996, with the their last encounter four years ago ending in favour of the Taeguk Warriors.
And Cha is confident that Korea Republic will be celebrating victory over the Iranians once again come Saturday night.
“The Korea team is a strong team and we got to last 16 of the World Cup so I think it is Iran that is scared of us,” said the Celtic fullback.
“I believe Iran is a strong team but we should not fear them. We have played stronger teams than Iran before and we have shown good performances. We have confidence to play against anybody.” [/su_spoiler]
As Asian football superpowers Iran and Korea Republic meet at the AFC Asian Cup quarter-finals for the fifth successive tournament, www.afcasiancup.com looks at two players who could standout in what Iran coach Afshin Ghotbi expects to be a classic.
Although rested for Iran’s final match against the UAE, by which time the three-time champions had already sealed their place in the last eight, Hadi Aghily will almost certainly revert back to the centre of defence for the quarter-final clash with Korea Republic. An imposing physical presence at both ends of the pitch the Sepahan stopper, who was MVP in Iran’s 1-0 win over DPR Korea, is also the one of the highest scoring defenders in Team Melli’s history.
After playing his part in the victories over defending champions Iraq and DPR Korea that secured Iran’s place in the quarter-final’s head coach Afshin Ghotbi opted to rest Javad Nekonam for the final Group D clash against the UAE rather than risking injury to the influential Spain-based defensive midfielder. The AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011™ is Nekonam’s third consecutive continental finals and with an international career spanning over a decade, the 30-year-old’s experience will prove crucial as Iran continue their quest for a record fourth AFC Asian Cup title.
Koo Ja-cheol has been one of the revelations of the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011™, being named Samsung MVP in two out of Korea Republic’s three Group C matches. Ostensibly a defensive midfielder at Jeju United, Koo has risen to the challenge of playing in an advanced position, with the prodigiously talented 21-year-old revelling in a more attacking role than he is used to at club level and is already the tournament’s joint top scorer. Koo netted a brace against Bahrain as well as the opener against Australia before ensuring he scored in every group stage game with a goal against India.
One of Asia’s finest players whether plying his trade for club or country, Korea Republic captain Park Ji-sung is the Taegeuk Warriors’ midfield general and consistently produces performances of energy and enterprise and often weighs in with his fair share of goals although is yet to get off the mark at the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011™. With a CV that boasts appearances at World Cups and UEFA Champions League Park has the experience
Iran 0-1 Korea Republic AET (FT 0-0)
Sunday, 23 January 2011
Doha: An extra-time goal from substitute Yoon Bit-garam ensured Korea Republic once again got the better of Iran as the Taeguk Warriors progressed to the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011 semi-finals following a 1-0 win at the Qatar Sports Club Stadium on Saturday.
The two sides were pitched against each other at the quarter-final stage for the second successive edition of the tournament and, as was the case in 2007, neither could break the deadlock inside 90 minutes.
But unlike four year ago, Yoon ensured penalties would not be needed to separate the two when he struck towards the end of the first period of extra time to set-up a mouthwatering semi-final clash between Korea Republic and Japan.
Both sides were cheered on by a sizeable contingent of their respective fans and it was the Koreans who were the first to be given something to shout about when they were awarded a free-kick outside the area, but Ki Sung-yueng sent his effort straight into the wall.
It took until the 23rd minute for the next chance to materialise and it once again went the way of the East Asians as Ki struck a well-hit volley from outside the box just wide of the target.
Moments later, Korea Republic keeper Jung Sung-ryong was finally tested at the other end of the pitch, though it was by his own player as Ji Dong-won headed Mohammad Reza Khalatbari’s free-kick towards goal and Jung did well to get a hand to and avert the danger.
But Cho Kwang-rae’s side continued to dominate possession and Ji came within inches of giving his side the lead just before the break with a curling effort that flew just wide of the post.
Though Korea Republic had dominated possession they had yet to register a shot on target and it was not until just after the hour that they managed to do just that when Cha Du-ri delivered a fine cross that Ji headed straight at Iran keeper Mahdi Rahmati.
A mistake in defence presented Ehsan Haji Safi with a clear sight on goal soon after but the defender drove his shot wide before Javad Nekounam headed wide as Iran started to come into the game.
But still the two sides largely cancelled each other out and, after Pejman Nouri shot high and wide the referee signaled the end of 90 minutes, meaning extra time was needed to separate the pair.
Haji Safi produced a timely tackle to prevent Park Ji-sung a chance on goal but once again the game was largely contested in the midfield with chances at a premium.
But the Koreans finally managed to break the deadlock seconds before the end of the first period of extra time when substitute Yoon dribbled the ball towards the edge of area before lashing a powerful shot into the back of the net.
It was backs against the walls for the Koreans in the closing stages but they successfully held Iran at bay to seal the hard-fought victory.
Midfield control helped us win: Cho
Sunday, 23 January 2011
Doha: Korea Republic boss Cho Kwang-rae hailed the resilience of his players after the Taeguk Warriors battled to a 1-0 extra time victory over long-time AFC Asian Cup rivals Iran on Saturday to book their place in the semi-finals.
Just as when they met at the same stage of the continental tournament four years ago, the two sides could not be separated inside 90 minutes meaning extra time was once again needed.
However, the Koreans finally got the crucial goal towards the end of the first period of extra time when substitute Yoon Bit-garam went unchallenged on the edge of the area and the midfielder delivered a sweetly struck shot into the back of the net.
The East Asians then defended resolutely as Iran pressed for an equaliser and Cho was delighted that his players gave their all right up to the final whistle, even when tiredness started to take its toll.
“The Iranian team’s defensive organisation was very strong, especially in the middle where they were very compact and highly organised,” he said.
“I believe not many teams can score goals against them and if you see figures of their previous matches this is proven.
“To win this game with a clean sheet is the greatest thing a coach can get. In general the defence was successful tonight and in that respect I was satisfied.
“Regarding the tiredness of the players, it can happen in these tournaments but the most important thing is that the players held on until the end of the game and that was the key factor for me.
“All the players have worked really hard in all four games to show the possibilities of Korean football and the changes we are trying to implement. They have a strong will to make things happen.”
But it was not just the defensive performance of his side that satisfied Cho, but also the fact they never let the Iranians gain the upper hand in the midfield battle.
“The Iranian team are beyond the level of Asian football,” he added. “They are a good team and had good performances in each game.
“But the main reason we won this is because we controlled midfield, so we did not let them play their own game.”
Next up for Korea Republic is a mouth-watering semi-final meeting with regional rivals Japan on Tuesday, a match Cho believes will be his side’s most testing yet.
“The next match against Japan is one of the most crucial matches we are going to play,” he said.
“I agree that Japan have been getting better and better throughout the tournament in every aspect of their game.
“But I never get scared about the Japanese team, even when I was a player and as a coach, so I am not afraid of them.”
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