Coach : Afshin Ghotbi
just 5 days after the humiliating defeat in Manama, Iran National team in Tashkent had an opportunity to amend against another opponent from the ancient continent. A good result for Iran in this match would have reminded that the traditional powers of Asian Football , that Iran is still a team to be reckoned with but Team Melli was a disappointment in Tashkent. There was no point to defend the result of the players.
The team that went to Tashkent to play against the Uzbek , whom had a similar fate in the World Cup qualifications as Iran, was in full strength. All the legionnaires from Europe and UAE league were available and also the regular goalkeeper. However , the inclusion of these players did little to improve the fortune of the team. The third encounter of the two teams ended up in a goal-less draw in a lackluster , and boring game. There was little to indicate the Team Melli is on the right road to recovery.
One of the interesting notes of the match was the change of line-up tactics of the coach , Ghotbi from 4-2-3-1 to 4-1-4-1 which in itself was pretty confusing to the players. This change did not increase the offensive power at all , but at worst , it confused the defense quite a bit.
In the first half , Madanchi had two opportunities , while in the second part of this half , the host team pretty much dictated the game. The Uzbek supremacy . However , failed to seriously threatened Iran's defense. Before the end of the half , Shojaei managed to head the ball home , but the goal was disallowed by the Uzbek referee Rashvan Irmatov for pushing by Shojaei. Just prior to that , the referee who is a candidate for taking part in the World Cup 2010 showed no mercy to his own compatriot, Odil Ahmedov , by awarding him a red card on minute 35' for a bad fould by the player on Mohammad Nosrati.
Uzbakistan with the 10 players at home survived the rset of the half without any serious threats by Team Melli.
IN the second half , it was predicted that Team Melli will take advantage of the shortage of an opposition player , however the slow moving Iranians and various errors in passing and positioning took that initiative away as the home team did not find any difficulty in defending the mild Persian offensives.
The host had two clear opportunities on 50 and 52nd minutes , against the lone chance for Team Melli created by Nekounam.
In a strange and highly dubious move , Irmatov brandish a red card for Masoud Zarei , a lyer who was substituted two minutes before , in what was alleged as an arm swinging by the new player. The TV replay showed clearly that there was no ill intent by the Iranian player!!
10 players each , both Uzbekistan and Iran went on to play the same old game plan they stared with.
In the final quarter of the game , the host intensifies the pressure hoping for a goal , but to no avail. Ghotbi also introduced Borhani to strengthen his attack , but very little yielded from that changer.
The game was goal-less and the concern fro Team Melli has grown even more after two disappointing games ahead of the crucial matches against Jordan for Asian Cup 2011 qualification.