Day: July 9, 2024

Iran U20 Draw 1-1 with Uzbekistan U20, Advance to CAFA Finals

In a close encounter today, Iran’s U20 national football team battled Uzbekistan U20 to a 1-1 draw at Kormanbek Stadium in Jalalabad, Kyrgyzstan. This result secures Iran’s position as the first team to qualify for the CAFA U20 finals from Group B.

Dramatic Match with Sending Off and Coaching Decisions

The match, which kicked off at 3:00 PM Tehran time, saw Ali Hosni net the crucial goal for Iran. The goal was initially called offside but after a very lengthy delay by VAR it was accepted for Iran to take the lead.

Uzbekistan scored the equalizer through a penalty kick.

Head coach Hossein Abdi opted for a starting lineup featuring:

Arsha Shakuri in goal, a backline of Hossam Nafri, Ali Hosni, and Seyed Mahdi Mahdavi, and midfielders Sina Moazzami Tabar (substituted by Yaqub Barageh at halftime and Samir Hobobati in added time), Alireza Homaeifard, Amirmohammed Razzaq Nia, and Mahan Sadeghi (57′ Yosef Mazarah). Ismail Gholizadeh , Abolfazl Zamani ( 86′ Mobin Dehqan) Reza Ghandipour (57 Mohammed Asgari )

The match took a dramatic turn in the 71st minute when Gholizadeh received a direct red card from the referee. This decision, along with several others throughout the game, sparked protests from both benches.

Despite the Draw, Iran Advances

Despite the challenging circumstances, Iran’s U20 team managed to hold on for the draw and secure their place in the CAFA U20 finals with four points from their group-stage matches. The team’s determination and resilience will be crucial as they prepare for the Finals.

Tractor Snatches Up Skocic as New Head Coach

In a move aimed at bolstering the team for the upcoming season, Tractor Club of Tabriz has appointed Dragan Skocic, the former Iranian national team coach, as their new head coach. The announcement follows successful negotiations led by Tractor’s acting CEO, Saeed Mozafarizadeh.

Skocic emerged as the favored candidate after the club considered a number of options for the head coach position. This experienced Croatian manager boasts a distinguished resume, including stints with Croatia’s U-21 national team, clubs across the Middle East and Iran, and most notably, Iran’s senior national team (Team Melli). His trophy cabinet includes two championship titles from Slovenia and Croatia.

Skocic’s tenure with Team Melli was particularly impressive. He compiled a remarkable record of 15 wins, 1 draw, and only 2 losses – a testament to his tactical prowess. However, his successful World Cup qualification campaign with Iran was unfortunately cut short due to reported internal politics within the Iranian Football Federation (FFIRI), who opted for the return of Carlos Queiroz despite Skocic’s achievements.

Skocis was a victim of backstabbing by several senior Team Melli members who were pushing the FFIRI for a return of Carlos Queiroz even though Skocic led Iran to the FIFA World Cup 2022 with relative ease and with three matches to spare.