AFC Asian Cup 2019 semi final Iran v. Japan first Half

Al Ain reports

The first half of the match between Iran and Japan played in Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in the semi finals of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 ended goal-less.

In front of near capacity stadium mostly consisting to Team Melli fans , the match started in a competitive and tense manner. Both teams started cautiously with each  aware of the threats the other team can create. Japan had the upper hand in the first 20 minutes by limiting the threats of Iran from the midfield. They succeeded to do so by populating the midfield and breaking the supply line from Dejagah mainly and from Jahanbaksh and Amiri. In the process the Japanese also created some pressure of their own on Iran back line but without any real threat.

After the 20 mints mark, the scenario changed with Iran having more of the ball and managing to get feed Azmoun who created the best chance of the match on 21st minute. From the left, Azmoun dribbled passed two of his markers inside the six yard box about his final shoot was blocked by the keeper and defender for a corner.

TM continued to excert pressure on Japanese and were the better side but not serious enough to dislodge the tough defense of Japan.

Vahid Amiri committed a clumsy foul to receive a yellow card in 25th minute. This is his 3rd card of the tournament. Amiri obviously requires a proper professional training  in tackling.

Unlike previous matches, the feeding and crosses from the flanks were scarce which forced Team Melli to route one football by utilizing long balls to Azmoun who was a constant threat to the Japan defense.

Iran players were committing needless fouls at times , Ebrahimi got a yellow card late in the half.

Half Time

IRAN  0  – 0  JAPAN