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11.October.2006 at 00:00
Asian Cup Qualifier
Municipal Stadium  , Taipei
Attendance : 2000
Referee: SHAMUSZZAMAN Tayeb Hassan - Bangladesh
Opponent Confederation: AFC
0 - 2
Referee: SHAMUSZZAMAN Tayeb Hassan - Bangladesh Asian Cup Qualifier / ACQ-match

None Mohammad Ali KARIMI (10)
Mohammad Ali KARIMI (56)
Opening Line-up
LU, Kun−Chi (GK)   
CHENG, Yung−Jen (C)
KUO, Chun−Yi
KAO, Hao−Chieh
TU, Chu−Hsien
FENG, Pao−Hsing
CHEN, Yu−Lin 
LIANG, Chien−Wei
HUANG, Cheng-Tsung
Mohammad NOSRATI
Hossein KAEBI
Pejman NOURI
Mohammad Ali KARIMI
Gholamreza ENAYATI
CHEN, Po−Liang
HSIEH, Meng−Hsuan
CHIANG, Shih−Lu ->CHUANG, Wei−Lun 69'
CHEN, Po−Liang -> HUANG, Wei−Yi 67''
HSIEH, Meng−Hsuan -> HUANG, Cheng-Tsung 84'
Javad KAZEMIAN -> Hossein KAEBI (6)
Farhad MAJIDI -> Gholamreza ENAYATI (78)
Yellow cards
KAO, Hao−Chieh 29'
CHENG, Yung−Jen 37'
CHIANG, Shih−Lu 86'
Red cards
KAO, Hao−Chieh 75' None.
Match report
Coach : Amir GHALENOEI
An Ali Karimi double was enough to see Iran defeat Chinese Taipei 2-0 in their penultimate 2007 AFC Asian Cup Group B qualifier on Wednesday and qualify for the Asian Cup finals for an unprecedented 11th time.

TAIPEI - An Ali Karimi double was enough to see Iran defeat Chinese Taipei 2-0 in their penultimate 2007 AFC Asian Cup Group B qualifier on Wednesday and qualify for the Asian Cup finals for an unprecedented 11th time.

The former AFC Player of the Year struck a goal in each half although Chinese Taipei were indebted to keeper Lu Kun-chi, who managed to keep the score line respectable even if he was unable to prevent his side's fifth consecutive defeat.

With the Moscow State Circus occupying the Chungshan Stadium, the usual venue for Chinese Taipei's international matches, the fifth round clash was being played at the Taipei Municipal Stadium.

And hopes that a change of venue would bring about a change of luck for the East Asians almost came true when the home side had two good chances to take the lead within the first six minutes.

Just three minutes into the game a lazy defensive clearance from the right goal line was taken well on the chest by Feng Pao-hsing but the Fubon midfielder's snapshot from the edge of the box was comfortably held by Iran keeper Hassan Roodbarian, who was starting in place of Ebrahim Mirzapour.

Three minutes later Roodbarian should have been made to work but Chuang Wei-lun failed to head Tu Chu-hsien's free-kick from the left on target despite being under no pressure from the Iranian defence.

Almost immediately at the other end of the pitch Reza Enayati, earning a starting berth in the absence of Vahid Hashemian, somehow hit the side netting from six-yards out before Ali Karimi opened the scoring in the 11th minute with a simple tap-in from a similar distance after some slick interplay from Javad Nekounam and Mehdi Mahdivikia prised open the Chinese Taipei defence.

Karimi should have put the match beyond any doubt but the former Asian footballer of the year spurned two glorious chances from point blank range within the space of a minute as half-time approached.

Chinese Taipei keeper Lu Kun-chi spilled a 41st minute Mahdavikia cross and the ball fell invitingly to the feet of Karimi but the Bayern Munich man went for power over precision and screwed his shot embarrassingly wide for a player of his calibre.

A minute later Karimi again missed from close range but this time credit must go to some resolute Chinese Taipei defending rather then any slack play from the former Al Ahli and Perspolis forward.

Another raking Mahdivikia cross from the right came off a Chinese Taipei defender and landed at the feet of Karimi via the crossbar. Karimi shot instinctively but Lu did well to save with an outstretched leg before the Iranian's follow-up was blocked on the line by Kao Hao-Chieh.

Karimi, easily the game's most influential player, did get his second goal 12 minutes into the second half when he deftly flicked the ball over Lu with the outside of his right foot after being teed up nicely by Enayati.

Iran were in complete control and three minutes after Lu had nervously dealt with Enyati's weak 59th minute shot the China Steel custodian displayed superb reflexes to tip Pejman Nouri's pile driver over the bar.

Lu pulled off a similar save in the 67th minute to deny Javad Kazemian, a 58th minute replacement for the quiet Hossein Kaebi, before the Iranian was cynically brought down by Kao as he charged down the right wing, which earned the Tatung defender his second yellow card.

Despite playing with the extra man, Iran couldn't make their numerical advantage count although Lu had to display fine agility to keep out a rasping low shot from Mahdavikia, but by then Iran, or specifically Ali Karimi, had done enough to seal their passage to next year's Asian Cup.

Iran's next match is the top of the table clash with Korea Republic at the Azadi Stadium on November 15 while Chinese Taipei have one last chance at salvaging some pride when they travel to Damascus to face Syria on the same day.
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