Tag: Reza Shekari

Iran defeats Costa Rica in FIFA U-20 World Cup


  • Iran pick up their first win at the FIFA U-20 World Cup since the inaugural edition in 1977
  • A tight encounter of few chances decided by solitary goal
  • A low left-footed strike from Iran’s No9 undid Costa Rica

Mohammad Mehdi Mehdikhani secured an opening win for Iran as his late goal saw off Costa Rica 1-0 in FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017 Group C.

Despite Iran’s fairly well-established FIFA World Cup™ pedigree, having appeared at three in the last 20 years, this was only their third ever outing at U-20 level – and the first of those came in the inaugural tournament. Because of that, you could forgive them for being a tad ring-rusty. In truth though, Costa Rica were not much sharper.

Both struggled to fashion opportunities in a tepid first half. Iran began the brighter of the pair, looking to utilise a distinct height advantage. As time wore on, Costa Rica’s stronger possession game saw them begin to dictate the pace of the match, though a sloppy final ball undermined their chance of fashioning any clear openings.

The pattern continued until the latter stages where Iran first came close from an audacious Omid Norafkan corner, clipping the top of the bar, before the deadlock was broken with nine minutes to go. Unmarked at the far post, Mehdikhani chested down and fired low into the bottom left corner to snatch three points from what looked like a certain stalemate.

It took Iran 40 years to register its only 2nd win in the FIFA Youth World Cup, now known as the FIFA U-21 World Cup. 

Despite a few good moves , Costa Rica did not manage a single shot on goal in the match, while the Iranians did shoot on target  although none were effective except for the Mehdikhani goal late in the game.

After Iran scored,  the habitual problem of Iranian football was evident in their game.  Iranian teams from club level all the way to Team Melli , have problems controlling the games when ahead , or as it is commonly know, putting the game to bed. Despite the solid and strong defense by the Iran U-21 team which the skillful Costa Rica’ forwards failed to penetrate during the whole match, their last few minutes were erratic, confusing and quite weak. Both the defenders and midfield players lost the ball in tackles, passed the wrong ball and in general were in disarray with only minutes left of the match.

Thankfully the opponents shooting was not up to scratch and their finishing , a lot to be desired, In reality, Iran should have closed the game in a much better style.

Iran U-21 next match is against Zambia who beat former champions Portugal 2-1 in the earlier game in the same group.



Group matches – Group C
Iran     IRAN      –    COSTA RICA       Costa Rica
1    –      0


Costa Rica
13 PINEDA. E (GK) ; 2 MESEN. D ; 4 SMITH. I ; 5 GONZALEZ .E; 6 HERNANDEZ. L (C) ; 8 MARIN. J ; 10 MARTINEZ. J ; 11 LEAL. R ; 19 SALINAS. Y; 20 JUAREZ. E ; 21 TORRES. G

Iran U-19 qualifies for the FIFA U-20 World Cup

Isa Town: Reza Jafari’s brace booked Islamic Republic of Iran a place in the semi-finals of the AFC U-19 Championship Bahrain 2016 on Monday evening as Amir Peiravani’s side handed Uzbekistan a 2-0 defeat to also qualify for the finals of next year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup in Korea Republic.

A goal in each half from Jafari sets up a meeting with Saudi Arabia in the last four, and also sees the Iranians qualify for the finals of the global youth tournament for the first time since 2001.

Jafari’s two well-taken goals were backed up by a resolute defensive performance by Iran, who largely limited Uzbekistan to a series of attempts from outside the area that caused goalkeeper Shahab Adeli few problems.

After making a raft of changes for his side’s final group match against China, Uzbekistan coach Jasur Abduraimov reverted to his preferred starting line-up as the Central Asian side set their sights on qualifying for the FIFA U-20 World Cup for the third tournament in a row.

It was the Iranians, though, who made the strongest start and, by the 13th minute, Peiravani’s team had taken the lead. Abolfazl Razzaghpour’s free kick into the box was miss-controlled by Reza Shekari before the ball fell at the feet of Jafari and he thumped his shot beyond Umidjon Khamroev.

Uzbekistan pushed for the equaliser throughout the remainder of the half, but the Iranian defence restricted their opponents to attempts from long range.

Jasurbek Yakhshiboev slalomed his way into the area, only to see his shot blocked, before a series of attempts by Sharof Mukhitdinov from distance. The first from 30 yards was just over the bar while a free kick from similar distance was collected by Adeli at the second attempt. Meanwhile, Khojiakbar Alijonov’s shot hit the side netting 11 minutes before the break.

Less than two minutes after the restart, Iran doubled their lead, this time capitalising on some slack play in midfield by the Uzbeks. Shekari picked up possession just inside his own half and played a quick ball forward into the path of Jafari, who outsprinted Islom Kobilov before slotting the ball past Khamroev.

Another Mukhitdinov attempt flew over before Shekari squandered the chance to put the outcome beyond doubt when he dragged his attempt at goal well wide of the target, while with 18 minutes remaining Husniddin Gofurov missed the opportunity to pull Uzbekistan back into the game when he headed over the bar from less than six yards out.

The Uzbeks continued to press – and Shahab was forced to make a spectacular one-handed save from Yakhshiboev in the dying seconds – but Iran’s disciplined backline gave little away as Peiravani’s team closed out the game to seal an historic result.

Photo: Lagardère Sports

10 man Iran U19 draws first match against Qatar.

Riffa: A goal at either end for Abolfazl Razzaghpour gave Islamic Republic of Iran a 1-1 draw against defending champions Qatar in their AFC U-19 Championship Bahrain 2016 Group C encounter on Friday.

Iran defender Razzaghpour was left to rue his misfortune at the Bahrain National Stadium as he deflected an Abdullah Abdulsalam header into his own goal in the 38th minute, after it initially looked to be going wide.

Despair turned to elation in the second half though, as Razzaghpour equalised with a thumping strike despite his team being reduced to 10 men shortly after the break.

Qatar started the game promisingly although Iran were giving as good as they got in the opening exchanges.

Tarek Salman surged forward in the 3rd minute for Qatar, leaving his marker on his backside as he fired in a powerful shot that just missed the right hand post.

This set the tone for the first half, with the two teams exchanging speculative shots from distance, the majority of which drifted high or wide.

Iran’s best chance of the half came in the 28th minute, as Shahin Abbasian made good headway down the right flank before crossing deep to the far post for Ali Shojaei to knock the ball down.

Reza Karmollachaab was facing the wrong way as the ball arrived but he pulled off an acrobatic bicycle kick that arrowed towards the bottom right hand corner of the goal, only for Mohammad Albakari to dive low to his left to keep it out.

Riffa: Islamic Republic of Iran defender Abolfazl Razzaghpour turned from villain to hero in less than 60 minutes when his team held Qatar to a 1-1 draw in their Group C opener at the AFC U-19 Championship Bahrain 2016 at the Bahrain National Stadium on Friday.

Razzaghpour first gifted Qatar the lead with an own goal in the 38th minute but turned saviour after netting a powerful left-footer from outside the box to earn a precious point for his side.

“I pray before each game that if I make any mistake in the game, I should remain focused to help my team in all the ways possible,” he told the-AFC.com on his thoughts after the dreadful own goal.

“I kept my concentration on the game and had told my friend midfielder, Omid Nor Afkan before to pass me the ball if he sees any space in front me so that I can take the shot with all my power.

“Thankfully, I got the space, the pass and I did not want to miss this chance.”

“We are not under any kind of pressure. We don’t think about the performances of other Iranian teams and want to think only about our match,” he said about Iran’s recent successes in football and futsal fields.

Photo: AFC

Iran U19 continues its victory trail defeating Jordan 3-0

Mashad: Iran took a step closer to the 2016 AFC U-19 Championship with a 3-0 defeat of Jordan that saw the Group E hosts open up a two-point lead at the top of the table  over Kuwait, who came from a goal down to draw 1-1 with Nepal in Sunday’s earlier qualifier.

After a demoralising 10-0 humbling at the hands of hosts Iran, Nepal gave a better account of themselves in their second Group E fixture and took the lead a minute after the hour mark through skipper Bimal Gharti Magar only for Khaled Al Enezi to rescue a point for the Kuwaitis with the equaliser ten minutes later.

Kuwait’s draw allowed Iran to go two points clear at the top of the Group E standings after the hosts handed Jordan their second successive defeat as Amirhossein Peirivani’s side enjoyed a 3-0 victory as the qualifying campaign reached its penultimate round of fixtures.

Jordan, who lost 2-1 to Kuwait in Monday’s Group E opener, and Iran looked to be heading into the interval at the Samen Al Aemeh Stadium with the game locked at 0-0 until Nima Daghestani struck on the stroke of half-time to give the home side the lead.

Reza Shekari took his personal tally to three in two games when he followed up his two goals against Nepal with Iran’s second in Sunday’s crucial clash with the Jordanians before Nima Mokhtari repeated Shekari’s achievement when he scored his third of the campaign in the 63rd minute as Iran ran out comfortable 3-0 winners.

Ten group winners and five best second-placed teams will qualify for the finals while hosts Bahrain received an automatic qualification (total 16 teams).

If Bahrain finish top of their qualifying group or one of the five second best-placed teams, the next (6th) second-placed team will qualify for the final competition.

Group E

IRAN 2 2 0 0 13 0 13 6
KUWAIT 2 1 1 0 3 2 1 4
NEPAL 2 0 1 1 1 11 -10 1
JORDAN 2 0 0 2 1 5 -4 0

Iran U17 defeated by the Italians

Team Melli U17 lost the friendly match against the Italian counterpart 4-1 in the match played today at Dastgerdi Stadium in Tehran.  The match  was part of the cooperation protocol signed by the two federations in which several exchanges have been arranged.  

The Italian team coached by Bruno Tedino went ahead on 25′ of the first half thanks to a penalty kick by  Llamas Acuna, and eight minutes later  Cutrone scored to make it  2-0 for the guests. In the second half  (two 45-minute halves were played) Giraudo scored the third goal on 30′; on 38′ Reza Shekari scored Iran’s only goal from a header but on 48′ Cutrone, who scored two goals, set the final result at 4-1.

Iran U17 team is coached by Hamid Alidousti.

In the post match interview , the Italian coach stated that “match against the Iranian team was a good test in light of the Elite Phase of the European Championships that will see Italy play from March 21st to the 26th, against the home team, Germany, Slovakia and Ukraine.”

Amir Hossein Peyrovani who is the head coach of the youth teams, said that it was an honor and a great experience playing against such a powerful team “When you playing against footballers from AC Milan , Juventus , Inter Milan , you know that you are facing the best. It as a great experience for us. Unfortunately we have been quite behind in our preparations and did not have adequate time to prepare !”

Peyrovani added that although the defeat was heavy , he did not think that the differences of the standards between the two teams was 3 goals. 


Italy U17 Squad

Goalkeepers : Cucchietti (Turin), Donnarumma (Milan);
Defenders : Giraudo (Turin), Llamas Acuna (Milan), Malberti (Milan), Mattioli (Inter), Nicoletti (Crotone), Scalera (Bari), Vogliacco (Juventus);
Midfielders : Onion (Parma), Degl’Innocenti (Fiorentina), Gasperoni (Cesena), Locatelli (Milan), Melegoni (Atalanta);
Forwards : Lo Faso (Palermo), Mazzocchi (Atalanta), Scamacca (Rome).

Italy U17 national team

Iran U16 out of the competetion

Bangkok: DPR Korea secured a semi-final meeting with Australia at the AFC U-16 Championship after edging out fellow former champions Iran 4-2 on penalties following a goalless draw in their quarter-final at Muangthong Stadium on Sunday.


Han Kwang-song, Kim Wi-song, Kim Ye-Bom and Ri Kuk-hyon all scored for 2010 champions DPR Korea in the shootout.

But after Hesam Soltanpour and Reza Karimi had converted for Group D winners Iran, both Nima Daghestani and Reza Shekari blazed high and wide to hand DPR Korea the semi-final berth and qualification for the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile.

The game had made a slow start with the first shot on target coming in the 14th minute after DPR Korea midfielder Kim Ye-bom dispossessed Soltanpour in the middle of the park before firing his shot straight at Iran goalkeeper Farid Nejatpashaki from 20 yards.

Iran finally created their first chance of note in the 20th minute as midfielder Karimi tried to curl his shot into the top corner from 25 yards only to see his effort easily held by DPR Korea goalkeeper Ri Chol-song.

Han, who scored in each of DPR Korea’s three outings in Group C, then took down a tricky ball on the edge of the penalty area before turning to create space for the shot, only to find goalkeeper Nejatpashaki had narrowed the angle well and was able to block his goalbound effort.

But Iran created the best chance of the first half eight minutes before the interval as Soltanpour slipped an inch-perfect ball to Karimi, but as the striker closed in on goal, he was denied by a superbly timed tackle by defender Kim Wi-song.

DPR Korea started the second half the stronger and kept pushing for the opener as Han broke into the Iran area from the left and skipped past two challenges before Nejatpashaki saved well from eight yards in the 65th minute.

With 15 minutes to play, Han had yet another sight of goal but his first attempt from the edge of the area was blocked by defender Alireza Aghabarari, and when the ball rebounded to him, his follow-up effort was deflected over the crossbar.

Iran then had their first real sight of goal of the second half in the 77th minute, but Reza Shekeri’s powerful drive from 20 yards fizzed just past the right post.

Then in the last minute, substitute Nima Daghestani had his effort from distance well saved by Ri to send the tie to penalties.