Iran has defeated Maldives in the first leg of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualification match. Team Melli got off to a good start and was the superior side right from the first whistle and dominated possession marking this superiority with an early goal. Maldives where not jolted by this goal and improved heir performance for the rest of the first half.
Team Melli scored from the first serious attack. Mohammad Reza Khalatbary crossed the ball into the penalty area after beating Ashad Ali and Umair and Ansarifard scored from inside the six yard box after the Maldive defenders missed the ball. Keeper Imran also came out to save the ball, but Ansarifard was quick to tap the ball.
In the 13th minute, Zare crossed into the penalty area but Ansarifard failed to control the ball and keeper Imran saved the ball.
In the 14th minute, Hadi Aghili headed from a corner. He was given the opportunity to head freely inside the penalty area and it went over the cross bar.
Five minutes later, Ansarifard again got the chance to shoot after Khalatbary beat Fasir inside the penalty area, but his shot flew over the cross bar.
In 33rd minute, Jalal Hosseini crossed into the penalty and Ansarifard headed the ball, but it missed the target.
In the 34th minute, Maldives created the first chance. Umair passed the ball from a free kick to Ashfaaq who controlled the ball outside the penalty area, but his shot was well wide off the target.
In the 44th minute, Maldives again got a great chance to equalize. Ashfaaq got the ball near the middle of the pitch and dribbled into the penalty area and gave a through pass to Assad Ali. But his shot was far too weak to bother Rahmati.
In the second half, Imran was forced to make a superb save when Mohammad Reza Khalatbari headed freely inside the penalty area.
A minute later Imran was forced to make another save when Khalatbari dribbled inside the penalty and took the shot. Imran punched it away for a corner kick.
In the 55th minute, Ashfaaq got a chance. He dribbled inside the penalty area and took a shot, but his shot was off target.
Karim Ansarifard again scored in the 61st minute. Aghili supplied a good ball into the box and Ashad Ali tried to clear it but it hits Ansarifard shin and rebounds back to the goal line where Maldive's Umair cleared the ball , but it was judged that the ball already crossed the goal line.
Karimi increased the lead for Iran from a superb header inside the penalty area. He was unmarked inside the penalty area. Norouzi crossed the ball.
In the 76th minute, Ashfaaq got another chance. Shamveel passed the ball to Ashfaaq outside the penalty area, but his shot went off the target.
Iran scored their fourth goal in the 86th minute. Ansarifard skillfully passed his marker and crossed a perfect ball into the box where substitute Saeid Dhaghighi Masouleh comfortably shot from the far post. Keeper Imran did not have any chance to stop it.
It was a tale of two contrasting performance for Team Melli. A very good start and a quick goal , followed by a lethargic and poor performance. Then a above average second half that yielded three goal but could have been much more.
Team Melli missed their Captain Javad Nekounam because the Spanish Club Osasuna has refused to release him for this FIFA World Cup match in a violation of the regulations.
Ansarifard- First Goal
Ansarifard- Second Goal
Ali Karimi - Third Goal
Saeed Daghighi - Fourth Goal