Qatar: Fahad THANI (QAT)
Iran : Carlos QUEIRÓS (POR)
Team Melli revived its chances to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup by defeating Qatar 1 -0 in Doha. The only goal of the match was scored by Reza Ghoochannejd in the second half (66') when he received a lose ball sent by Jabbari and neatly slotted in under the advancing Qatari goalkeeper.
Iran has 10 points with two more matches to play. Iran's next match will be at Azadi against Lebanon.
Queiroz , who was serving his second match ban , elected to play with a relatively new defensive line up. The Team Melli coach selected 3 Esteghlal players to cement the defenses in addition to the veteran Jalal Hosseini. Amir Hossein Sadeghi, partnering Hosseini in center of defense, was recalled after 6 years while Beighzadeh, who was playing left back, last featured for Team Melli in 2010.
The match kick off time early evening , eased the worry that high temperatures and specifically the humidity , will be a handicap for Iranian players. With Doha enjoying a mild summer, the weather was relatively pleasant under the circumstances.
Mideast Qatar Iran World Cup Qualifying Soccer
The first 30 minutes of the first half saw Team Melli control most of the play by taking the initiative on offensive moves and controlling the rhythm of the match, while not allowing the hosts to create any real chances. Qatar was content to defend while depending on the pace of their wingers for the counter attack. Iran played its usual game plan that they have stuck to throughout the qualification matches. The offensive moves was based on crosses from the flanks , mostly by the lively Khosrow Heydari on the right while on the left wing , Shojaei was lethargic and his contribution was minimal.
Despite the various attempts and the crosses that Heydari sent from the right , most such crosses ended up long or collected by the tall and towering Qatari GoalKeeper Qassim Burhan. The only variation to TM tactic was a single long range attempt shot by Capt Nekounam which was comfortably collected in two attempts by Qatar Keeper Burhan.
But after the half hour, things changed dramatically as Qatar got a new lease of life and initiated several attacking moves on Iran’s goal one of which was chipped by Hassan AlHaydos but hit the bar to safety. However , the Qatari attacks did not last long as Iran once again took control of the match under the end of the half.
The second half was a carbon copy of the first with the host hardly getting any chances while Iranian enjoying most of the possession as it continued controlling the pace of the game. The first fifteen minutes saw Team Melli launch several attacks while the Qatari's were on the defensive. The most clear chance fell to Shojaei who was put cleared by a neat through ball to face Qatar goalkeeper, but the Osasuna player was far too slow to pull the trigger as the ball was cleared in front of him by young defender Misa'ab.
Iran's supremacy paid dividend in the 66th minute when Nekounam put a nice through ball to Jabbari who squared the ball to Ghoochannejad through a deflection. The Standard Liege forward neatly controlled the ball and slotted under Qassim Burhan to score the only goal. It was a cool and clinical finish no more than Iran deserved.
The rest of the match saw team Melli play logical game and had little problem controlling the game with a sterling display from the midfield and particularly an outstanding from Ando Teymourian who was one of the stars of the match.
in the injury time of the match, the Qatari's were throwing all to score the equalizer but their desperate efforts did not result in a goal.
Despite what was commonly believed, Nelo Ningada did not sit on Iran's bench but accompanied Queiroz in the stands of the Al Sadd Stadium.
In the other group match today , the South Koreans scored deep inside the injury time to secure a point at Beirut after Lebanon surprise the fancied Koreans with a goal in the first half.Korea leads the table on goal difference with Uzbekistan.
Qatar vs Iran WC2014 qualifiers goal