Tag: Saleh Hardani

Iran and Uzbekistan Play to a Goalless Draw in Azadi Stadium

In a lackluster match at Azadi Stadium, Iran and Uzbekistan settled for a goalless draw on Tuesday evening at Azadi Stadium. Despite both teams securing qualification, their lack of urgency was evident throughout the final game of Group E of the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers.

  • Player Attitude:
    • Iranian players seemed content with a draw, displaying little energy or drive to excel.
    • The forwards often fell into the offside trap, allowing Uzbekistan to maintain defensive comfort.
    • Uzbekistan, as promised by their coach Katanec, attacked with organized moves but lacked clinical finishing.
    • Saleh Hardani was probably the Most Valuable Player with his fine work in the first half.
    • Azmoun was hardly been awarded any meaningful ball and surrounded by two and sometimes three markers, he was easily neutralized by the Uzbek.
  • Key Moments:
    • Taremi came closest to scoring when he rattled the Uzbek upright. The move originated deep within Team Melli’s defense zone.
    • Azmoun’s deflection set up Jahanbakhsh, who delivered a sublime ball to Taremi. Unfortunately, the upright denied Iran a goal.
    • Omid Nourafkan attempted long-range shots.
    • Ali Beiranvand had little work to do but a late blunder nearly Iran the points while he did manage to deflect one Uzbek ball through the game.
  • Group Standings:
    • Despite the draw, Iran maintains its lead in the group.
    • Iran, Japan, and South Korea will be in pot one for the third-round draw.


  • Alireza Beiranvand
  • Mohammad Hossein Kanaanizadegan
  • Shoja Khalilzadeh
  • Saleh Hardani (yellow card in the 89th minute)
  • Milad Mohammadi
  • Omid Nourafken (substituted by Mohammed Ghorbani in the 73rd minute)
  • Saman Ghoddos (substituted by Shahriar Mughanlou in the 87th minute)
  • Alireza Jahanbakhsh
  • Mehdi Torabi (substituted by Abolfazl Jalali in the 87th minute)
  • Mehdi Taremi
  • Sardar Azmoun

Saleh Hardani added to the Team Melli squad

According to the Football Federation website, Dinamo Zagreb right-back Sadegh Moharrami is out of the squad for the Four Nations tournament in Jordan due to an injury in a club match. His replacement is Saleh Hardani.

The updated list is as follows:

Alireza Biranvand, Payam Niazmand, Seyed Hossein Hosseini
Ehsan Haj Safi, Milad Mohammadi, Shojaa Khalilzadeh, Mohammad Hossein Kananizadegan, Morteza Pouraliganji, Mohammad Daneshgar, Amin Hizbavi, Saleh Hardani, Ramin Rezaeian, Roozbeh Cheshmi

Saeid Ezzatollahi, Ahmad Noorollahi, Mohammad Mohebi, Javad Hosseinnejad, Saman Ghoddos,

Mehdi Taremi, Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Mehrdad Mohammadi, Karim Ansarifard, and Sardar Azmoun

In the first session of training, only 10 players turned up with the rest of the players trickling in from several destinations. Persepolis players were given a rest after their match to recover.

Azmoun doubtful for Korea match adding to the absentees list.

Team Melli will be with 4 key players for the top-of-the-table match versus South Korea in Seoul next month. “Sardar Azmoun’s ligament damage is still bothering him, he still needs treatment. I can’t say exactly when he will be able to play.” declared  the head coach of Bayer Gerardo Seoane “

Azmoun will need another 3-4 weeks to fully recover which will possibly mean he will miss the match in Seoul. Azmoun’s absence on the top of the 3 known absentees due to suspension and disciplinary issues. Moharrami is out for two matches due to his red card against the UAE, Ezatollahi is also suspended due to accumulations of yellow cards, and KananiZadegan is suspended by the FFIRI for misdemeanors he committed including endangering the health of his Team Melli colleagues by attempting to invite a girl while he was on COVID19 quarantine.

While the four players’ absence seems to be significant on paper, the pleasant surprise is that Team Melli has such a strength in depth that no dramatic action is needed to address these absentees.

Dragan Skocic has many options to replace Azmoun and Ezatollahi as he has a good number of replacements. In defense, with two absentees, it sounds more difficult but Siavaush Yazadni has performed well on his debut in the central defensive role, while Majid Hosseini, Milad Mohammadi, Saleh Hardani, and Aref Agasi are all capable to fill the roles in the defense.

 So, although Team Melli is not at 100% strength, it is hardly a crisis situation facing the Koreans and then Lebanon at Azadi in what is a formality matches as Team Melli already had qualified.

Players rating vs UAE

Amir Abedzadeh : Another commanding, confident and perfect display. Despite the few attacks by the opposing team, Abedzadeh handled the ball and any aerial threat with ease and did not put a foot wrong, Oozes with confidence and that transmits to the defenders in front of him too [8.75]

Sadegh Moharrami : Disappointing premature game end for such a skillful half-back. His second yellow card and subsequent dismissal were unprofessional, reckless, and negligent for a player at the international level. We sincerely hope that a good lesson is learned  [5.0]

Omid Noorafkan : In the makeshift defense line, Noorafkan played well as a central defender partnering with Kananizadegan. Solid and steady although the UAE attacks were sparse and hardly threatening [7.7]

Milad Mohammadi: Had a quiet game, but it is apparent that this pacey defender has lost some of his finer touches. His ball distribution and passing lacked accuracy and was guilty of some bad passes [6.8]

Hossein Kanani-zadegan : Another solid performance at the center of defense. His timely header saved the Team a certain goal. Despite playing in an unusual formation with his regular partner (Khalilzadeh) missing, his coordination with Noorafkan was immaculate. [8.4]

Saeed Ezatollahi : Still wobbly and at times acts like a bull in a china store. The defensive work was as expected but he lacks consistency. Got himself booked for an unnecessary foul, then escaped another booking minutes later with a bad tackle. [6.7]

Saman Ghoddos : The second consecutive game in a row that Saman looks lackluster. It was not a difficult decision for Skocic to sacrifice him after Moharrami was dismissed. He made little difference in the team and lacked proper and accurate ball distribution for his teammates. It is a pity as Ghoddos is a highly technical and visionary football. He has yet to deliver at Team Melli though. [6.0]

Ali Gholizadeh : After a marvelous run late in the second half where he showed tremendous skills, his run towards the UAE goal and the feeble shoot on goal, while Taremi on his left was wide open, is bordering a crime. He did not have a good game like his partner Ghoddos. It is unsettling and as such robbing the team of creativity. Missed two glorious goal-scoring chances [6.3]    

Alireza Jahanbakhsh : Another top performance from the Captain of Team Melli. His enthusiasm, skill, and vision are going to be much needed if Iran has any aspiration in qualifying from the group stages of the World Cup. He is the Maestro of the team [8.9] Man of the Match

Mehdi Taremi : He delivers when needed. That goal against UAE was a poacher’s goal and that is what makes Taremi so special and a valuable asset to the team. He suffered from some fatigue especially when he had to return back and cover for the team missing a player, but still performed admirably [8.8]

Vahid Amiri : A few flashes of brilliance but Amiri like many of his teammates today lacked the high passing accuracy. It is expected from him to feed the forwards with crosses, but they were scarce and far apart thus hardly creating any threats. He still covered quite well in the back when needed. [7.5]


Ahmad Nourollahi : Found it hard to control the midfield after he came as a substitute. His one shot at goal was way off target., otherwise he had a quiet game. Perhaps recovering from Covid had some effect on his performance  [7.0]

Saleh Hardani : taking into account his status as a new member of the team, he played with confidence and boldness against quite a pacey UAE winger. He never let his guard down and filled Moharrami’s slot quite well. A very good prospect and a player that needs to be given more playing time [7.8]

Siavaush Yazdani Moghadam : Not enough playing time to rate him, but in the opportunity given, he played well without any problem.to be

List for UAE And Korea Rep matches announced.

Dragan Skocic announced the list of Team Melli players to play against the UAE and South Korea in the final qualifying rounds of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. Majid Hosseini, Ehsan Haj Safi, and Kaveh Rezaei are the three changes from the last squad in an otherwise unchanged squad.

With a perfect winning record and players who have delivered, Skocic rightly stuck to the same skeleton of Team Melli players. With two tough matches ahead, Team Melli can set very comfortably at the top of the table with a high chance of qualifying to Qatar with all the six points of the October matches.

Despite the lack of preparation and minimal training before the first match against UAE, the team seems to have a good understanding and performed quite well in the last two matches.

Team Melli is currently at the top of Group A of the 2022 World Cup final qualifiers in Asia with 6 points, two ahead of nearest rivals South Korea whom they meet in Azadi.


Alireza Biranvand, Amir Abedzadeh, Payam Niazmand.


Shoja Khalilzadeh, Mohammad Hossein Kananizadegan, Majid Hosseini, Milad Mohammadi , Omid Nourafkan, Sadegh Moharremi,  Saleh Hardani, Siavash Yazdani,  Ehsan Hajsafy


Ahmad Noorollahi, Milad Sarlak, Yasin Salmani, Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Saeed Ezatollahi, Vahid Amiri, Saman Ghoddos, Mehdi Torabi , Ali Gholizadeh.


Karim Ansarifard, Mehdi Ghaedi, Kaveh Rezaei, Sardar Azmoun and Mehdi Taremi.