Homayoun Shahrokhi (IRN)
Morten Olsen (DEN)
In an evenly matched encounter , Denmark and Iran both played well during the match at Hong Kong Stadium.
The Danes had a chance to score in the first half when they were awarded a penalty kick after Iran's Jalal Kameli Morfrad picked up the ball thinking that the whistle had blown for the break.
It turned out that the whistle was apparently blown by a spectator and not by the referee.
The Iranians protested to no avail. But their anger subsided when, in a sporting gesture, Denmark's coach Morten Olsen told captain Morten Weighorst to deliberately kick the penalty wide of the Iranian goal.
The Iranians took the lead when they were awarded a penalty kick in the 47th minute after Denmark's Asbjorn Sennels fouled Hoosein Kabel.
Nekounam scored the penalty with ease.
One of the World Cup veterans, Khodadad Azizi made his first appearance for Iran after many years away from the national team. His performance was probably one of the best amongst a changed Iranian team without their regulars including Daei and Karimi. Azizi delicate touches , skillful and crowd pleasing dribbling was met by ovation from the crowd in Hong Kong stadium.
Iran's team was mainly based on their Olympic Team which recently won the Gold Medal in the Asian games in Busan. Homayoun Shahroukhi, the interim coach who is filling the gap after the departure of the Croat Ivankovic, was pleased with his first match at the helm.
Denmark's coach Olsen said the decision not to score the penalty against Iran in the first half was a "fair one."
"We had our chances and it's our fault that we lost the match," he added.
Iran's coach Homayoun Shahrokhinejad said the Danes "put us under great pressure and we are happy to win."
Denmark: Peter Lind Jensen; Martin Albrechsten, Kaspar Dalgas, Rasmus Daugaard Hansen (Michael Hansen 80th), Lars Mads Jorgensen (Nichlas Hindsberg 73rd), Soren Berg Andersen (David Rasmussen 80th), Brian Priske Pedersen, Thomas Roll Larsen, Thomas Schultz, Asbjorn Sennels, Morten Wieghorst.
Iran: Ebrahim Mirzapour; Yahya Golmohammadali, Javad Nekounam, Hamed Kavianpour (Yadollah Akbariborjlo, 69th), Alireza Vahdi Nikbnakht, Ali Samereh (Amin Mohtashami 71st), Khodadad Aziz (Mehrdad Minavandchal 83rd), Hossein Kabei, Moharram, Jalal Kameli Mofrad, Mohammad Nosrati.
HONG KONG, Feb 1 (AFP) - Denmark proved there was nothing rotten with the state of their sportsmanship on Saturday as their captain shunned a penalty during the 1-0 loss to Iran in the Carlsberg Cup here on Saturday.
Captain Morten Wieghorst deliberately kicked wide a penalty awarded to his team just on half-time after an Iranian defender had picked up the ball on hearing a whistle from the crowd at the Hong Kong Stadium.
The referee immediately pointed to the penalty spot. But in a brave display of sportsmanship, Wieghorst, only leading the team for the second time, kicked the ball wide, much to the appreciation of the Iranian players and the large crowd ushering in the Chinese Year of the Goat.
"It was unfair to try and capitalise on that. The Iranian player had no idea what had happened. It was unfortunate that he picked the ball up and in such circumstances it was difficult for me to kick a penalty," said Wieghorst, who plays for Danish champions Brondby.
"It was fair play by our captain. He didnÂ´t want to take that goal and well done to him," applauded Danish coach Morten Olsen afterwards.
Denmark shortly went behind, Javad Nekounam converting three minutes into the second half after winger Hossein Kabei was hacked down with a two-footed lunge by Asbjorn Sennels inside the area.
Nekounam struck a low shot into the left-hand corner of the net to give his side a 1-0 lead. Iran then defended for the rest of the half with only striker Khodadad Azizi up front.
Denmark clearly had the best of the first half and came close to scoring on a number of occasions. Forward Soren Berg was just wide of the mark with a couple of headers while Thomas Larsen also missed in the 13th minute, when he hit a volley wide, and was denied by Iranian goalkeeper Ebrahim Mirzapour in the 30 minute.
"We were under pressure for most of the match. It is satisfying to beat a team like Denmark and be in the final. Our expectations are high," said IranÂ´s caretaker coach Homayoun Shahrokhi.
Denmark came close to levelling the scores in the second half. But Iranian goalie Mirzapour pulled off a number of good saves to give his side a good start to the four-team tournament that also includes Uruguay and a Hong Kong League XI.
"We came here to win the Cup. But it is our fault that we are not in the final. We had our chances and we did not take it," added a disappointed Olsen.