Tag: Ahmad Noorollahi

Noorollahi kicked out of Team Melli camp

Team Melli and Al Wehda midfield player, Ahmad Noorollahi, was ejected from the national team camp a few minutes ago according to an official announcement from the Football Federation.

The media department of the national team announced that Ahmed Nooralahi had been expelled from the camp. On follow-up, it appears that the reason for Noorollahi’s expulsion from the camp that has played Hong Kong and will meet Uzbekistan next was of a disciplinary nature.

Ghalenoei, called 30 players for this camp, but FIFA and competition regulations will allow only 23 players to be registered for the match. When Noorollahi realized that he was not on the list of the final 23, he refused to join the rest of the excluded players and left the group without the approval of team management. This resulted in his expulsion from the camp as the midfielder will not make the trip to Tashkent for the Uzbekistan game.

This is not the first time that a Team Melli player has been recently disciplined for misdemeanor and unprofessional conduct. A player like Noorollahi who plays professionally in a foreign league quite simply ignores the most basic of the rules and that is respect for decisions made by the hierarchy.

It is difficult to see Noorollahi, being part of Iran’s squad for the AFC Asian Cup early next year, unless that usual Iranian tradition where the guilty person shows remorse, visits the head coach with a flower bouquet and kisses cheek to cheek, and then all is forgotten!

Ammad Nourollahi’s injury is more serious than initially thought.

The Team Melli midfielder and current Shabab Alahli player was not included in the team’s list for the match against Al-Bataih. Al-Ahli will face Al-Bataih in the ninth week of the Emirates League. The main line-up and reserve players of Al-Ahli were announced for this game, and Ahmad Nourollahi was not included in the squad to increase the concern about the player’s injury.

Nourollahi seemed to be injured seriously in the last match of Al-Ahli against Al-Ain and was substituted after receiving treatment. Al-Ahli club has not yet officially explained the type and severity of this Iranian player, but the way Nourollahi was treated shows that it is highly likely that his injury is severe and serious and would be out for an extended period. . Al-Ahli has performed well this season with the presence of Nourollahi and the Portuguese coach Jardim’s guidance, and if they win against Al-Battah, they will climb to the top of the standings. If there is no injury concern, Nourollahi is expected to be one of the main players of the Iranian squad in the 2022 World Cup while his absence is very bad news for Carlos Queiroz.

Team Melli will meet England in Doha on the 21st of Nov 2022, seventeen days time from now.

Grand performance by Team Melli

The Performance

There was indeed a general agreement that Team Melii did not perform very well against Syria in the empty tribunes of Azadi stadium. We gave the team the benefit of the doubt and considered their preparation as the worst in recent history.

Five days later, the Team Melli that turned up in Doha put the impressions of the Syria match to bed. A different lineup, 3 days or 6 sessions of practice, better organization, and with the Head Coach on the bench, the result was nothing short of admirable in every department.

Let us take a closer look at the Iraq match. Bear in mind that it was an away game for Team Melli and only 5days from the previous match.

Iraq had a total of 2 shots on target only, Iran had 12.

Iraq created 2 chances, Iran 12 out of which Team Melli scored 3 goals.

Iraq was slightly better in ball possession with 52% against Iran’s 48%

Now, Iraq is a strong contender for qualification. They have just stopped the Koreans in Seoul a few days back and were narrowly defeated by Team Melli in Bahrain. However, the early goal must have ruined Dick Advocaat’s plans from the onset. Scoring a goal in a counterattack, parking the bus for the rest of the match, and performing the circus of theatrics, time-wasting, faking injury is the hallmark of Iraqi football. They do frustrate teams, especially strong oppositions, by such tactics, and many times, they get the desired result. That early Jahanbakhsh header, however, ruined it for the Iraqi team.

Star Player

 Team Melli was efficient, strong, and highly organized in both the attack and defense and those factors reflect the result. As a group, they performed well with each player conducting their task effectively.

However, there are some outstanding individual performances, too. The players that need a special mention are:

Ahmad Noorollahi: The maestro of the team, a midfielder who was the engine of a very efficient midfield, perhaps the man of the match.

Mehdi Taremi: with one brilliant assist and a magical well-taken goal, deserves a mention.

Sardar Azmoun: Despite him being incognito most of the match, and that is no fault of him, his persistence and skills to find Taremi for the second goal, was world-class.

Shojaa Khalilzadeh: Another solid and error-free performance that deserves credit.

….And the star on the rise

The grand performance of Omid Noorafkan was a breath of fresh air. The Sepahan player was considered one of the best young players in Iran in his early footballing career. This 24 years player was a victim of changing so many clubs at early ages of development which never really stabilized his career. Now with Sepahan, he was worthy of being in the starting Team Melli’s lineup.

His performance against Iraq was truly outstanding. He hardly put a foot wrong and was the icing on the cake fr this Team Melli team.


The shortfalls, especially in the discipline department, still exist, but fortunately, it was not bad against Iraq. Saeid Ezatollahi’s yellow card was totally silly and uncalled for while Alireza Jahanbakhsh’s unnecessary plunge could have been a card with a different color.

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.

Reading into the Cambodia game.

It was a goal festival that has not been experienced by Team Melli fans for a long time. Iran has a long history in annihilating weak opponents through the years however; very few expected to see Cambodia crumble like that. In reality, the team from the Far East is not that terrible to be a punching bag to Iran or any other team. They have two very respectable results in the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers so far, a 1-1 draw with Hong Kong and a 1-0 loss to Bahrain both home games.

There were many positives in this Team Melli display. The offensive-minded Wilmots is definitely showing its intent. The way the goals were scored and the clinical finishing was a delight to watch.


It is not too hard to observe that Azmoun is turning out to be a prolific scorer and the type of striker who is able to play in such different roles in that position. He has a mix of abilities that put him as a very versatile player. His heading skill, his agility in front of goal, his positioning and use of free space and finally his cool manner in front of the goal were very pleasing for the delighted fans. No wonder he is one of the hottest properties in European football nowadays.


While Iran consistently produces high-quality and promising players, especially technically skilled, if there is something they usually lack or lag behind their Europeans counterparts is on the mental side. The common conception and accepted premise that Iranian footballers are more passionate than Europeans could be used as an excuse to justify their bad behaviour during games and training sessions. Their continued arguments with referees and rivals and their lack of consistent concentration during games had led to unexpected results. Against Cambodia, even with such a huge margin of win, those were still evident.

 Queiroz was heavily criticized for his bias towards European Based players In Team Melli. In this particular match with lowly Cambodia, some of the reasons behind the Portuguese mindset was manifested.

Morteza Pouraliganji and Alireza Beiranvand have not experienced the European football although the former had a short unsuccessful spell in a Belgian team (Eupen). It was ironically those two who committed what would have been fatal mistakes that in any other match would have been critical and game-changers. While 12 goals ahead, Pouraliganji launches forward into the Cambodia box trying to score from a header. He lunges inside the box with foot high, in a Karate Kick style and hits the Cambodia keeper right in the chest. The law is very clear, that is dangerous play and an instant red card. However, the feeble Indian referee only awards the Iranian defender a yellow card, perhaps tricked by Pouralganji’s fall to the ground grass-rolling faking an injury from that clash.

That was seriously uncalled for play by Pouralaiganji especially when the team is a dozen goal ahead. Such gamesmanship emphasizes the poor disciplinary issues with Iranian defenders. Thankfully the Cambodia keeper continued after clash after he was attended to but it could have been much worse, at least it looked like it on TV replay. Remember Japan match not so long ago in the Semi-Final of the Asian Cup?  The same Pouralaiganji disregarded his duty of marking the Japanese winger and instead he and 4 others of his teammates ran towards the Australian referee trying to force him to whistle against Japan team. The professionalism and discipline of the Japanese were so evident as the winger, without any Iranian players to bother him,  calmly controlled the ball crossed it inside the box where his forward Osako was waiting with only one marker a few feet from Beiranvand (the rest of the defenders where still haggling with the referee) to head the ball home.

The poor code of behaviour was repeated earlier in the match with Cambodia by Beiranvand who unnecessary plunged into Cambodia forward who was going nowhere but to an acute impossible shooting angle, yet the Cambodian won a penalty thank to the clumsy Beiranvand tackle.

In both cases, there was little common sense and sanity applied by the two Iranians. That needs to be undertaken lightly by Marc Wilmots else eccentrics like this can prevail if he does not force upon the player the sense discipline.  Queiroz has done an excellent job in that department, Wilmots needs to continue on that path and dispense from niceties when addressing these issues else he will soon find himself losing control.


The two debutants Mohammed Mohebi and Mehrdad Mohammadi scored three goals between themselves. The former was a starter as he replaced Ashkan Dejagah who hurt himself during the warm-ups before the match. Mehrdad Mohammadi joined his twin brother, Milad in the last part of the game yet he put his name on the score sheet with an immaculate finish.


Ahmad Nourallahi opener was a great goal in all aspects. Power, accuracy and direction. From 25 meters the Persepolis midfielder hit a scorcher which was in itself worthy of winning any game.


Karim Asarifard, despite so much promise, when he first joined Team Melli, has not been the prolific scorer that many hoped he will be. Perhaps his countless number of club changes had played its role in the less than an optimal career. However, in the match against Cambodia, he showed real quality and killer instinct in front of the goal. He helped himself to four of them, now if he can only be a consistent player, his value will really be high for Team Melli.


Mehdi Taremi is another good finisher, but he is unpredictable. He can score beauties but he can also have comical moments shooting wild off the mark balls. His display was average and if there are any areas that he needs to improve, it is his shooting accuracy. Although he was credited two goals, one of them was clearly an own goal by the Cambodia defender.

Team Melli draws away to Korea Rep.

South Korea and Iran played a 1-1 draw in the Seoul World Cup Stadium in an international friendly on Tuesday in front of a full capacity ground. The host opened the scoring when their leading scorer Hwang Woo-Sung took full advantage of a mix up between Team Melli’s defenders to lob the advancing Beiranvand on the 57th minute, but Iran soon responded when a corner kick by Rezaeian was met by Pouraliganji who scrambled the ball to hit Korean defender Kim Young-Gwon  and end up in the back of the net.

The action-packed match was entertaining from the start as both teams were geared for attack, and in the process, leaving both defenses vulnerable to counters. The host took the initiative against Iran at the start of the first half. Lee Jae-sung attempted a sharp left-foot cross on the right side in the sixth minutes but the Korean forwards could not take advantage. In the 7th minute, Hwang In-Beom’s right-footed shot from the left of the box was blocked by a defensive wall.

In the first 15 minutes, the Koreans had a slight edge but stubborn Iran defense and a steady goalkeeping by Beiranvand , spoiled every Korean ambition. Lack of real threat by the Koreans emboldened Iran to attack and go forward

Iran finished a good set of passes with a medium-range shot from Fullback Rezaeian in front of the box in the 14th minute. In the 17th minute, Rezaeian’s crossed inside the box, but Hajsafy attempted left-footed shot was blocked. Twenty minutes into the match, Torabi’s right-footed shot from the inside of the box led to a sharp trajectory but missed the goal by inches.

Both teams played a fierce battle to control the middle of the field in the first half. In the 23rd minute, Lee Jae-sung’s through-pass allowed Sang-Joe to take a left-footed shot but Beiranvand deflected the ball to a corner. Then it was the turn of Korean keeper Joo Hyun-woo to make a save when Alireza Jahanbakhsh hit a long range shot from 40 meters. Jahanbakhsh, who received the ball from a counterattack in the 25th minute, had Ansarifard on his left with lots of space but he elected to go it alone. Iran then created several opportunities to attack and shoot taking advantage of the space between Korea’s defense and their midfielder. In the 37th minute, Ansarifard tried a medium range shot but did not get past Jo Hyun-woo.

South Korea, who had desperately wanted to test Beiranvand, eventually managed to do so and created that opportunity. In the 41st minute, the Korean Ace Son Heung-min tried a powerful left-footed shot from the front of the box, but Beiranvand saved it to a corner. In the 43rd minute, Najang Ho volleyed the ball from a cross but hit the underside of Beiranvand’s crossbar and deflected away from the goal-line.

At the beginning of the second half, Iran introduced Noorollahi instead of Jahanbakhsh in order to boost the attack. Noorollahi ‘s mid-range shot hit the crossbar in the 50th minute depriving Iran from securing a deserved lead.

But South Korea took the lead instead with Hwang Joo Ja’s opening goal in the 57th minute. Kim Min-jae’s long pass was blocked by the defenders who then clashed into each other, and Hwang Joo picked the loose ball and used a chip shot to beat goalkeeper Beiranvand in the box.

Iran, who gave away the first goal, showed a strong performance by scoring the equalizer following a corner kick in the 62th minute. The corner by Rezaeian , hit the body of Pouraliganji , then deflected past defender Kim Young-kwon into his own goal. Iran managed to equalize in less than 4 minutes.

South Korea, brought in Lee Seung-woo, Sejong, and Lee Jung-hyo after the 75th minute, but missed out on Na Sang-ho, Baek Seung-ho and Hwang-in. Iran also responded with three substitutions of their own.

In the last quarter of second half, Son Heung-min hit a mid-range shot from outside of the box, but Beiranvand easily handled the shot .

The match ended with a 1-1 draw.  Both the coaches Paulo Bento and Marc Wilmots opted to limit the number of substitutions not to break the flow of the game and that resulted in attractive match.

At the end, South Korea, which had hoped, and in some ways was desperate, to win against Iran for the first time in eight years, had to settle for a draw and swallowed up its pride.

In the meantime, both teams will continue their voyages in the second round of the 2022 Qatar World Cup Asian qualifiers starting September 2019.

More new faces in Team Melli squad

Carlos Queiroz continued his quest to produce a new fresh looking team that can compete at the highest level with introduction of more new faces to Team Melli. Most of the senior players and old guards were left out for the final two matches which have very little effect on the outcome as Iran has already qualified.

Players being set aside including Teymorian , Shojaei, Dejagah , Haj Safy , Ansarifard,  Azmoun , Montazeri ,  Jahanbakhsh , Ghoochannejjad, Pouraliganji , Haghighi , Ghafoori , Ezatolahei and Mohammadi are all absent from the list. Queiroz will practically be fielding the B team against India and Oman.

With qualification to the next round already assured, the timing and selection of these players will be a major boost for the team. Queiroz is creating competition and wants to eliminate complacency and the feeling on invincibility that has been rife in Team Melli for decades. There are some excellent choices in the list reflecting the form of the players in the league.



1. Omid Ebrahimi
2. Mohsin Karimi
3. Sajjad Shahbazzadeh

Esteghlal Khuzistan
4. Ali Ashoori

5. Sousha Makani
6. Ahmad Noorollahi
7. Kamal Kamyabinia
8. Mahdi Taremi
9. Ramin Rezaeian
10 Farshad Ahmadzadeh
11. Mohammad Ansari

Rah Ahan
12. Mehrdad Mohamadi

13. Mehdi Torabi

 Gostarish Foolad
14. Dariush Shojaeian

 Malavan Anzali
15. Ezatollah Pourghaz
16. Mohammad Hossein Kannani

Naft Tehran

17. Jalal Hosseini
18. Vahid Amiri
19. Ali Reza Biranvand