Iran : Hassam Habibi
Newspaper Article - Black P...
No wonder they call him the â€śBlack Pearlâ€ť. Abdolreza Barzegari (jersey No 8) gave a pearly performance to almost single-handedly tear the Singapore defence apart last night.
With his deceptive dribbles, the afro-haĂ¬red youngster, whose glossy
skills is as dark as a dungeon at midnight, was the most dangerous
player. He spearheaded most of Iranâ€™s attacks from midfield. He created the space needed and penetrated deep into Singapore territory to wreak havoc.
He was a â€ślive bombâ€ť whenever in possession of the ball. Most admirable was his boldness to take on three, four or even five defenders in a row with his jinking runs, body feints and uncanny
He outpaced the entire field whenever with the ball.
Singapore skipper Samad Allapitchayâ€™s yellow card offence on
him, seven minutes from full-time, showed how much the â€śBlack
Pearlâ€ť tormented and teased him. There was no other way to stop
this speed demon.
Agreed, Abdolreza was over-individualistic at times and held on to the
ball too long. Yet there were hardly any qualms about his apparent selfishness from his team-mates or coach.
Skipper Ali Parvin was full of praise for this 22-year-old player:
â€śWe let him go and show off his skills. It helped the team a lot
since he was able to crack any defence with his ball skills. Very
hard to mark him.â€ť
Coach Hassan Habibi hailed Abdolreza as the â€śsuper-star of the finalâ€ť
adding: â€śWhen we first came to Singapore I told everyone that he
will be the â€śSuper Substituteâ€ť of the tournament since he was good
only in the second-half.
â€śBut AbdĂµlreza proved all of us wrong. He gave matured performances right from the first game against North Korea and since
then, has been a regular"
Abdolreza scored Iranâ€™s third goal last night. Just as he darted in from out of the blue to score a memorable goal against China on Feb 27, the â€śBlack Pearlâ€ť swooped In like a hawk to send Fariba Behtashâ€™s rebound off the right upright whistling into goal. There was no way Edmund Wee could stop It.
This goal made the â€śBlack Pearlâ€ť the second best scorer In the tournament. It was only one short of his famed World Cup colleague
Faraki who has netted six goals.
It was certainly a creditable show by the" Black Pearl.Â»