A deserved 3-0 win for Team Melli vs. Iraq

Three beautiful goals, 3 precious points, and one hell of a polished performance were the result of Team Melli’s game against Iraq on Tuesday evening. Iran beat Iraq 3-0 on Matchday 2 of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 to lead the table with maximum points.

Team Melli opened the scoring as early as the third minute from a brilliant piece of play started by one of the match stars Omid Noorafkan. From the left flank, Noorafkam sent a perfectly weighted ball to Taremi who was acting as a wing. Without much hassle, Taremi crossed to the onrushing  Alireza Jahanbkash. Team Melli Captain headed a powerful ball into the goal with Iraq keeper Fahad Taleb could only parry into his own net.

In the minutes after the goal, Iraq took control of the game with surprising ease, however, none of their efforts was towards the goal as Beiravand had the quietest period. But that ball possession for Iraq did not last long as Team Melli took control of the midfield quite logically with Noorollahi and Amiri playing a vital role. Iraq lost Bashar Resan midway through the half due to injury.

Sardar Azmoun could have made the score 2-0 after a perfect diagonal pass from Noorollahi, another star of the match, from the right. Azmoun met the ball and released a powerful low shot, this time however Fahad Taleb was ready for it and saved brilliantly.

The start of the second saw Iraq put the ball into the net as early as the 2nd minute to return the compliment, but the goal was ruled offside by the linesman and the VAR confirmed the right decision has been taken by the Chinese referee.

From then on, both teams battled for the ball, especially in the midfield. Iran looked like the more organized side, with some neat passing and swift counterattacks. The enthusiastic Iraqi’s looked naive in defending and from a ball that was just going dead for an outside throw, Azmoun controlled it and despite two markers, he sent a superb ball all the way to the box where Taremi was lurking. The Porto striker brilliantly controlled the ball, ran a meter or two, and slotted the ball between the onrushing Iraq keeper’s legs, it was 2-0.

The third goal came late in the game with Iraqi players tiring, this time Karim Ansarifard, a late substitute did another Azmoun trick but from the opposite side, the ball reached Ali Ghlozadeh, himself a late substitute. The Chareloi midfielder received the ball well and dribbled Dhargam Ismael, his marker in one smooth move and easily slotted home past Fahad Taleb.

It wasn’t that difficult after all. Team Melli did not leave much for the critics. All the players did their job well, Although Aref Aghasi was short of experience and confidence being his debut match at an important match, he defended well and managed some shy incursions forward, too.

The two outstanding players were Noorollahi and Omid Noorafkan. The central defenders were solid as a rock and very little passed them. Amiri was a menace to the Iraqi and must be given a special mention.

Iran now leads the table with six points and a goal difference of +4 ahead of second-ranked team South Korea.