AMMAN, Jordan - Iran crushed Bahrain in its opening match of the West Asian Football Federation (WAFF) Championship on Friday.
The Iranians beat the Bahrainis 3-0 at the Amman’s King Abdullah Stadium.
A brace form Hadi Aghily in the 36th and 38th minutes helped Afshin Ghotbi’s team to win the first half in the Group A of WAFF. Mehrdad Ouladi scored Iran’s third goal two minutes into the second half.
Iran controlled the first half but their attacks were lacking accuracy and apart from set pieces there were not threatening Bahrains goalkeeper.
It was two of these set pieces that Iran eventually scored late in the first half, both headers from Central defender , Hadi Aghili and both assisted by inch perfect crossing of Eman Mobali.
In the second half it was mostly one way traffic with Bahrin hardly managing to breathe. After Ouladi scored , Iran missed many scoring opportunities which could have significantly changes the final results. Two of the big misses came from Mohammad Nouri , the substitute and a free kick by Mobali which left the Bahraini goalkeeper stranded.
The Persians are scheduled to play Oman on Tuesday.
Iran won the title in 2000, 2004, 2007 and 2008 while the Iraq claimed the title in 2002.
“WAFF championship is a good opportunity for us to get ready for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. Some good teams such as Iraq, Bahrain and Jordan will participate in the tournament,” Ghotbi added
“We have achieved good results playing against teams from East Asian teams and we hope to do so with teams from the west of the continent,” he added.
Josef Hickersberger: our loss was not Surprising
in the post-match press conference Josef Hickersberger Bahrain national coach commented that he was not surprised by the outcome of the game particularly as his team was facing one of the best and strongest teams in Asia which includes in its ranks many of their key and famous players , while our team includes many young players who lack the required expertise in games and competition of this level.
“my players committed a lot of mistakes that have affected the overall performance of the team, despite that , there were the odd satisfactory performances by a few players “ The Austrian coach emphasized, “ the technical level of the game has not lived up to expectation , especially on the level of implementation of the method and style and technical guidance.”
For his part, Bahrain striker Ismail Abdullatif said that he and his colleagues have given all they have got in the game and up to their capabilities and the skill that they possess, but they faced the strength and expertise of Iranian national team, which enters the competition with a complete rosters and is determined to win the title, referring to the non- Equal opportunities between the teams. Abdullatif noted that Bahrain squad was mostly consisting of young players and local league players who are looking for an opportunity to demonstrate their abilities, alluding to the lack of this group to experience games and tournaments, Ismail said: «we tried to contain the power of the Iranian national team, but we were victims of individual mistakes of and technical deficiencies which affected the outcome of the game ».