Tag: Asian Games 2018

Tough draw for Iran in AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020

Bangkok: Iran’s Omid Team has been drawn in what must be the toughest group of the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020.
Joining Iran are the defending champions Uzbekistan, Korea Republic and China in Group C. The Thailand 2020 Finals draw was held in Bangkok on Thursday. Iran had no representation in the draw ceremony.
Uzbekistan will open their defence of the AFC U23 Championship title in Group C with a match against Iran’s Omid Team. It promises to be an exciting group as all three of Uzbekistan’s challengers will be aiming to win the title for the first time.

The fourth edition of the Championship will be played across three cities – Bangkok, Buriram and Songkhla – with the tournament kicking off on January 8, and the final to be played on January 26. Besides Continental glory, 15 of the 16 teams will also be competing for places in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where the top three sides will join hosts Japan as Asia’s representatives next July.

Hosts Thailand was drawn in Group A and they will have 2013 champions Iraq, Australia and debutants Bahrain to contend with.
Qatar, third in 2018, 2016 champions Japan, Saudi Arabia – runners-up in 2013, and Syria are in an exciting looking Group B.

Vietnam, runners-up in 2018, have DPR Korea, Jordan – third in 2013 – and United Arab Emirates for the company in Group D.
Should Japan make the last four stage, the other three semi-finalists will be assured of their places in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Under newbie coach Farhad Majidi, Iran’s U23 had a disappointing showing in the preparation matches two of which were against the same Uzbekistan team which they will meet on 9th January 2020. With the powerful South Koreans, who are a title contenders in their own right, waiting next for Iran, it is going a steep mountain to climb for Iran. Realistically, Iran chances look dim for qualification but would be more than happy to be in the top two teams. China, the other team of the group have been performing well qualifying to the finals with ease after beating Laos 5-0 and Philipines 8-0 while drawing with host Malaysia 2-2. The Chinese have two friendly matches arranged in South America in Late November with Colombia in Bucaramanga and then against Peru in Lima.

The star-studded Korean team who are the Gold Medal holders of the Asian Games 2018 may include Tottenham Hotspurs star Son Heung-min who is 27 now. However upfront they have Hamburger SV forward Hwang Hee-chan and Italian Club Verona Lee Seung-woo in the squad. It is not clear if these players will be released for this championship.



Group C match fixtures

9 January 2020 Tinsulanon Stadium, Songkhla   Uzbekistan Iran
9 January 2020 Tinsulanon Stadium, Songkhla South Korea China PR
12 January 2020 Tinsulanon Stadium, Songkhla Iran South Korea
12 January 2020 Tinsulanon Stadium, Songkhla China PR Uzbekistan
15 January 2020 Thammasat Stadium, Pathum Thani Uzbekistan South Korea
15 January 2020 Tinsulanon Stadium, Songkhla China PR Iran

Asian Games 2018: Iran defeats DPR Korea

Iran took a huge step towards qualifying for the Round of 16 with a 3-0 win over 2014 silver medallists DPR Korea.

Iran started brightly against DPR Korea but Mohammad Khodabandehlo and Amir Roustaei had their opportunities saved by goalkeeper Kang Ju-Hyok inside the first 18 minutes.

DPR Korea were also chasing their first win after settling for a 1-1 stalemate with Myanmar on Wednesday and went close to scoring in the 19th minute but Ri Un-Chol’s strike was saved by IR Iran goalkeeper Mahdi Amini Zazerani.

However, Roustaei put Iran in the lead following his strike in the 27th minute and the goal pushed DPR Korea forward in search of an equaliser but Song-il Ju’s men couldn’t find the target as they trailed by a goal at halftime.


Iran, four-time Asian Games champions, kept the momentum going in the second half as they looked to extend their advantage over the East Asians.

DPR Korea suffered a blow when they went down to 10 men after Song Kum-Song was shown his marching orders in the 52nd minute.

Iran used the one-man advantage to double their lead through Mehdi Ghayedi’s strike in the 68th minute and despite DPR Korea’s best efforts, the Central Asians made it 3-0 after Aref Aghasi Kolahsorkhi converted a penalty in added time.

With top spot still up for grabs, IR Iran will face Myanmar in their final group match on Monday while DPR Korea will entertain Saudi Arabia.

PSV scouting for top Iranian talent: Younes Delfi

With pen and paper in hand and dozens of scouts gasping in the neck, Voetbalzone scours the international fields every week. Who are the stars of the future, which talents should absolutely be watched? Our next target: Younes Delfi, who will join PSV within the foreseeable future.

By Tim Siekman

The Iran’s Under-17 team started well  on the bright side in October 2017 at the  FIFA U-17 World Cup by defeating Guinea 3-1. A great achievement, but also factored in. The Asian talents in the group phase would give a much heavier blow to the might of Germany, whom with  their star forward Jann-Fiete Arp had a well-coveted diamond in the making . The top striker of Hamburger SV scored five times in five matches at the final tournament in India and took his team to the quarter finals of the World Championship.

An interesting clash was therefore expected in advance, again with a possible leading role for Arp, who is on the radar of Bayern Munich.  however It went differently. In the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi, Germany was outclassed by Iran. The 4-0 loss of that Mannschaft meant the breakthrough of Younes Delfi on the international podium. The seventeen-year-old right winger took his team by the hand and after six minutes broke through the doctrine, via defender Jan Boller, by placing the ball between the legs of goalkeeper Luca Plogmann.

Plogmann then faced a barrage of attacks. Just before halftime, Delfi again struck: the fast winger hit the spot with the help of Mohammad Sharifi’s assist. After the break, the top talented boy from Khuzestan produced an assist for Allahyar Sayyad,  and later Vahid Namdari sealed the match with the fourth goal for Iran and the final score ended 4-0 to Team Melli. With that impressive win over Germany, the name of Delfi was definitively established. Several clubs in Europe have lauded scouting reports of the Iranian in the drawer, including Besiktas, but it was PSV that has taken the initiative.


Delfi is on his way to the PSV Eindhoven, as recently confirmed by director Amir Soltani. The seventeen-year-old attacker is plucked for a fee of 550,000 euros from Esteghlal Khuzestan, which also stipulated a sale percentage of 20 percent. Soltani recently said that the deal is as good as done and that ‘the last details’ still have to be discussed. From mid-August, Delfi will try to repeat his excellent form and shine with the Under-23 team of Iran at the Asian Games  2018 in Indonesia, and the youngster will later officially join PSV, probably in January.

Last March, Delfi, who incidentally also can play as an attacking midfielder, were planned to join Eindhoven training camp together with Taha Shariati. The two youth internationals would train with the Under-19 team, which at the time was led by Mark van Bommel, currently head coach of the national champion. Delfi, however, was not allowed to travel to the Netherlands, but now he  can make the step. He can sign a professional contract with PSV on his birthday on 2 October.

Younes Delfi with his teammates from the Under-23 of Iran in a friendly game with Iraq.

Delfi’s excellent performance at the Youth World Cup against Germany, according to him, was partly due to a close preparation that he carried out together with his offensive partner and roommate Sayyad. “We watched a lot of videos from the U17  team of Germany and knew what they had to offer. We have analyzed them down to the smallest detail and from this we drew our conclusions “, says Delfi, who ended up in the loosing side in the quarter finals with a defeat against Spain, in an interview with New Indian Express .

Cristiano Ronaldo

In Iran, people are convinced that the youth can handle top football in Europe in the future. “Being a regular player in Persian Gulf Pro League is a blessing for the team,” said team manager Amir Sedighi last October. “He is a valuable addition, both for his club and country.” Since his debut for Esteghlal Khuzestan, Delfi has been labeled by various media as ‘prodigy’. After ‘only’ six appearances in the 2016/17 season, the winger was awarded almost every game of play minutes the following year. In total, the dribbler has 32 appearances in the club so far, with 7 goals and 1 assist under his name.

Delfi is determined to once again draw attention to the Asian Games. The talented player remains ambitious, despite all the praise that has already been awarded to him. “My goals are not based on my performance. I expect more from myself, “Delfi said recently in an interview with varzesh3 . Delfi has had a good time at the club where he played since his early youth, but acknowledges that the move to Europe is very tempting. “My ambitions are very big: I want to exchange Esteghlal Khuzestan for Europe to eventually play for top clubs.”

The attacker is praised for his speed, his technique, his dribbles and his urge to constantly look for one-to-one situations. Delfi does not turn his hand around for the dirty work and is willing to make runs for his teammates. The 17-year-old gem considers Cristiano Ronaldo as his idol. The five-time winner of the Ballon d’Or often says that hard work is the basis for success and that opinion is also attributed to Delfi: “To be even in the shadow of Ronaldo, I have to work very hard, I know that. But my goal is to become better than Ronaldo. one  of theses days. “

Name: Younes Delfi
Date of birth: 2 October 2000
Club: Esteghlal Khuzestan
Position: right winger, attacking midfielder
Strengths: speed, dribbling qualities, insight

Asian Games squad announced

On the eve of the farewell ceremony of Iran’s Asian Games teams , Zlatko Kranjcar, spoke about the team preparations and recent developments.

The Asian Games ceremony was held on Tuesday at the Olympic Hotel in Tehran. Kranjcar  remarked that holding such a ceremony is good for all the disciplines. These rituals are motivating.

“Using the youth and the motive that is there, we can do our best to be successful,” he said. “Of course, we want to make these great game experiences because our primary goal is the Tokyo Olympic Games.

The head coach of the football team said: “The situation is very good. We chose 20 players to make sure these high-spirited players go to China, and we’ll go to Indonesia after a match against China to prepare for the tournament.

“All the league clubs cooperated with us, except for Nasiji who refused to release their player,” he said, noting that some teams did not give their players a chance. The resolution that the Board of Governors welcomed was welcomed by all the clubs and caused us no problems.

In the answer to the question from the reporter on the absence of Reza Shakari and Omid Noroufokan in the Omid list, Krancjar said that the lack of two quality players will certainly be a loss to the team, but the players we have chosen have a very high quality and I hope we will be able to compete with the players who have high motivation We shall achieve good results.”

“We had two very good preparations matches against the Iraqi team, which included some senior players,” he told AFP. We played very well in the second game and we are now ready to play Asian games.

The Croat coach, Zlatco  Kranjcar has earlier named 20 players who will be representing Iran in the Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta starting this August. Iran Olympics Football team is actually a mix but mostly consists of  U19 players.  The regulation restricts the age of players to be under 23 with 2 senior players can be included.

Iran Asian Games Squad

  1. Ahmad Reza Ahmadvand
  2. Alireza Orta
  3. Amir ROUSTAEI
  4. Aref AGHASI
  5. Mehdi Amini
  6. Mehdi GHAYEDI
  7. Mehdi Rahimi
  8. Mohamad AGHAJANPOUR
  9. Mohammad Amin Asadi
  10. Mohammad Khodabandeh
  11. Mohammad Mehdi MEHDIKHANI
  12. Mohammad Moslempour
  13. Mohammad Reza Azadi
  14. Mohammad SOLTANIMEHR
  15. Reza Jabireh
  16. Seyyed Abolfazl RAZZAGHPOUR
  17. Shahab ADELI
  18. Shahin Abbasian
  19. Sina Zamehran

Zlatko Kranjcar is a leading candidate to coach Omid team.

The Iranian Football Federation is considering the appointment a head coach of Iran’s U23 (Omid) team to prepare and represent the country in the Asian Games 2018  Jakarta, although the team has already wasted a lot of opportunity, as the FFIRI Technical Committee should have selected a coach last month.

Federation officials have been negotiating with some domestic and foreign coaches during the past few days. Even the president of the federation, Mahdi Taj, told reporters yesterday that the talks are continuing, and this week the coach’s name will be announced.

The former head coach of the Sepahan squad Zlatko Krancjar, who failed to meet expectations this season with the Esfahani club, is one of the main choices for the federation, and even the Football Federation’s secretary Mohammad Reza Saket had talks with the Croatian coach.

FFIRI has always been a failure with the U23/U22 teams. For some odd reason, they have never managed to get their acts together at this age level and seem to have some complex on how to deal at this age level football teams. Most of the problems are self-inflicted, though including their chronic late preparation, and last minute search for a coach and finally poor preparations.

Krancjar, who has arrived in Tehran for a few days, is a favorite with the Federation officials who have started serious talks with him. It was confirmed that a meeting was carried out with federation officials in one of the hotels in Tehran, but the results are not clear.

Krancjar was the main choice to be the head coach of the Omid team in in December 2014 under the leadership of Habib Kashani, but the blatant intervention of the Ministry of Sports who claimed that the Croat does not conform for ethical/religious values (…), eventually meant that the federation so dependent on the government, had to shelve the idea of recruiting Karanjcar. Th coaching of the team was given to the novice coach Mohammad Khakpour, who failed to achieve anything and also failed to qualify for the Olympics.