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20.July.2004 at 20:30
Olympics Sport Centre , Chongqing
Attendance: 30000
Thailand
0 - 3
Iran
Referee: KOUSA Mohammed - Syria Asian Cup / Group D-match

Goalscorers
None Gholamreza ENAYATI (70)
Javad NEKOUNAM (80)
Ali DAEI (pen.) (86)
Opening squads
HATHAIRATANAKUL Kosin (GK)
SIRIWONG Niweat
PROMRUT Choktawee (C)
SURASIANG Nirut
SURINSIRIRAT Worachai
PANRIT Nataporn
THONGLAO Datsakorn
SINGTONG Issawa
CHAIKAMDEE Sarayoot
SUKSOMKIT Sutee
VIVATCHAICHOK Rangsan
Ebrahim MIRZAPOUR
Mohammad NOSRATI
Rahman REZAEI
Yahya GOLMOHAMMADI
Ali BADAVI
Mehdi MAHDAVIKIA
Hossein KAEBI
Javad NEKOUNAM
Mohammad Ali KARIMI
Arash BORHANI
Ali DAEI
Substitutes
JOEMDEE Sakda
CHOEICHIU Phichitpong
VACHIRABAN Narongchai
Sattar ZARE
Mohammad ALAVI
Gholamreza ENAYATI
Substitutions
JOEMDEE Sakda for SINGTONG Issawa (+55')
CHOEICHIU Phichitpong for SUKSOMKIT Sutee (-65')
VACHIRABAN Narongchai for CHAIKAMDEE Sarayoot(+90')
Gholamreza ENAYATI -> Arash BORHANI (61)
Mohammad ALAVI -> Yahya GOLMOHAMMADI (84)
Sattar ZARE -> Mehdi MAHDAVIKIA (88)
Yellow cards
SINGTONG Issawa (5') Arash BORHANI (58)
Red cards
None None.
Match report
Coach: Branko Ivankovic (Croatia)
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CHONGQING - Iran, the three-time Asian Cup champions, got their 2004 campaign off to a winning start against Thailand on Tuesday night thanks to three second-half goals.

The win moves Branko Ivankovic's team to the top of the group ahead of Japan, who beat Oman 1-0 in the evening's earlier game.

Iran, who warmed up for the tournament by winning the West Asian Football Federation championship, dominated from the first whistle but they ran into stiff resistance from a Thai side which made light of the absence of several key players.

The 1968, 1972 and 1976 Asian Cup winners had the first opportunity of the game after just three minutes, when Yahya Golmahammadi's downward header from a corner bounced just over the bar.

Three minutes later, Javad Nekounam was inches away from getting his head to a floated free-kick from Medhi Mahdavikia, the reigning AFC Player of the Year.

Thailand keeper Kosin Hathairatanakul came to his team's rescue on 17 minutes when he acrobatically turned away a stinging shot from Mahdavikia from 25 yards out.

Having weathered the storm, Chatchai Paholpat's side gained in confidence with Sarayoot Chaikamdee on the right causing panic in the Iran ranks with his direct running. However, too often the Port Authority player found himself without support in the final third of the pitch.

Thailand's best chance of the half came in the 37th minute when Choketawee Promut, the Thailand skipper, drove narrowly wide from 20 yards out.

Ali Daei, the 1999 AFC Player of the Year, was denied by the Thai keeper's outstretched legs on 53 minutes, Moments later, Arash Borhani rose well to but could not control his header.

Iran continued to pile forward but stout defending by the Thais ensured the scores stayed level until a fine piece of individual skill from Ali Karimi saw the Al Ahli weave his way to the by-line before cutting the ball into the path of substitute Gholamreza Enyati, who side-footed home from six yards out.

Iran doubled their lead on 80 minutes when Nekounam nippd in front of the Thai keeper to nod home Mahdavikia's free-kick.

Their tales up, Iran made it three four minutes from time when Karimi, who was a nuisance all night for the Thai defence, was hacked down by Nataporn Panrit. Daei stepped up to lash the penalty home to score his 95th international goal.
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