Tag: Vahid AMIRI

Vahid Amiri in danger of missing the World Cup!

Persepolis and Team Melli midfielder Vahid Amiri who was substituted in after the injury to Saeed Aghaei in the 36th minute of the match against Zobahan Esfahan, played an effective role in changing the result of the game from defeat to draw. However, the key Team Melli midfielder suffered another severe back injury in the 88th minute leaving him incapable of continuing the match in the final minutes.

Amiri was so badly injured that he was taken by ambulance in Isfahan from the stadium to the airport where he then was carried onboard a flight to Tehran, where he was treated by a specialist in the Capital. Amiri’s injury seems to be serious, the doctors will decide on his surgery by the end of the week to reduce his inflammation. In any case, Vahid Amiri will definitely not be able to accompany his team for the final four matches.

He will be absent for the matches against Sepahan Isfahan, Traktor, Shahr Khodro and Fajr Sepasi Shiraz. Amiri will undoubtedly stay away from the football fields for four months in case of his lumbar disc surgery so that the influential and key player of the Iranian national team is in danger of missing the World Cup Qatar  2022. He was one of Dragan Skocic’s key players in the qualifiers to ease Skocic’s worries about having a left-winger. It remains to be seen what the doctors will decide about him to increase his chances of returning to the football field as soon as possible.

Players Rating : Syria vs. Iran

Team Melii players ended the match against Syria as clear winners. In arguably the best performances of the qualifiers, every player played his part well. Discipline, which marred the Team Melli performance on many previous matches, was excellent. No player was given a yellow card.

The absence of two key players in Jahanbakhsh, Taremi and Dragan Skoci on the bench, hardly dented the team display. This is evidence of a big team with a strong bench, with available players capable to replace any of their teammates no matter how important they have been. It proves that Team Melli reached a maturity that the absence of one or two key players hardly matters.

The individuals rating are as follows:

Amir ABEDZADEH:  [8.0] Was not really tested but when he was required to act, he did with confidence and control. His ball distribution and aerial balls collection was immaculate.

Shojaa KHALILZADEH  [7.8] As always, dependable and solid in defense forming a steadfast partnership and understanding with Kananizadeghan. Unlucky at set-pieces despite the large numbers of corners won by Team Melli.   
Sadegh MOHARRAMI:    [7.8] Effective as a wing-back despite the fact that he was less involved on the flanks from the previous match. Remains a valuable asset at right back.
Hossein KANANI-ZADEGAN:   [7.8] Enjoyed an easy day and had no issues defending against the lone Syrian striker. His performance with Khalizadeh in the heart of defense helped Team Melli keep a clean sheet.

Ehsan HAJSAFI:  [8.3] Despite his absence from Team Melli in a few matches, he never lost his touch. Positive and reliable. Scored the Penalty with cool despite the Syrian goalkeeper intimidations.
Vahid AMIRI  [9.0] One of the best performances seen by the winger for many years. Played a decisive role in this game. Full of energy and class Kept the ball moving to build attacks and enjoyed many forays forward down the left side. Provided a world-class assist to Azmoun. Provided many crosses which showed his quality of delivery. Created more chances than any of his teammates in another good demonstration of his quality and versatility.

Ahmad NOUROLLAHI  : [8.8] Another sterling performance. Unlucky not to be on the scoresheet after three very well taken shots on goal, which saw two being magnificently saved by the Syria keeper.
Saeid EZZATOLLAHI   [7.6] Dependable and solid in the midfield. Won many balls back swiftly for his side on the rare occasions they didn’t have it and showed his passing precision too.
Omid NOORAFKAN: [7.8] Had a quiet game although there were some signs of nervousness, especially when he losses the ball. Could be reckless at times.
Ali GHOLIZADEH : [8.9] Scored a magnificent goal that showed his wizardry. He was a constant menace for the Syrian defense. His timely use of his dribbling skills can break solid defenses. Had an excellent game. 
Sardar AZMOUN:  [8.9] Scored a wonderful goal that shows his class and how far he has improved in Europe. He remains one of the best assets of Team Melli. However, he could have scored a hat trick but for missing two easy chances. 


Milad SARLAK : [7.8] Replaced Hajsafi and had a quiet match without exerting too much effort. A solid player and a valuable one to support both the defense and midfield.


Group A: IR Iran tighten grip with victory over Syria

the-afc.com    – 16.Nov.2021

Amman: A dominant display from the Islamic Republic of Iran at the King Abdullah II Stadium saw them cruise past Syria 3-0 on Matchday Six of the AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar on Tuesday.
Team Melli went into the game off the back of a five-match unbeaten run, and they cemented their place at the top of Group A with a fifth win in their last six, moving up to 16 points, while Syria was rooted to the foot of the group without a win and remained there after the game.

A touch away from creating a goalscoring opportunity, Syria watched on as Omar Al Soma’s attempted through pass at the edge of the opponent’s box was intercepted and turned into the quickest of counterattacks with Vahid Amiri supplying an exquisite overhead pass for Sardar Azmoun, who broke through between the Syrian center-backs and kept his composure to slot home the opener for IR Iran in the 33rd minute.

Both Amiri and Al Soma were involved in the build-up to another attempt nine minutes later. This time the Iranian winger attempted a cross on from the left with Syria’s number 9 blocking his path and Al Soma’s misfortune continued as he was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the box, leading to the visitors being awarded a penalty that Ehsan Hajsafi (pictured below) duly converted to make it 2-0.

A quick Syrian response saw the Qasioun Eagles come within millimeters of instantly halving the deficit as Mahmoud Al Mawas showed nifty feet to trick two Iranian defenders and rifle from just outside the box, but he watched in agony as his effort beat goalkeeper Amir Abedzadeh only to cannon off the underside of the crossbar and out.

Ahmad Nourollahi nearly found the back of the net for the second game in a row as he attempted his luck in back-to-back shots just after the 70th minute, but the Shabab Al Ahli midfielder was denied on both occasions by the fingertips of Syrian goalkeeper Khalid Al Haji who made flying saves.

Gholizadeh went from provider to scorer, doing so in style with his last touch of the ball before being replaced by Mehdi Ghayedi in the final minute of the match.

The RSC Charleroi winger beat the offside trap and went on to waltz his way past three Syrian defenders before calmly placing the ball into the bottom corner to confirm the Iranian victory with a third goal.

Iran continues their campaign at home against Iraq at the end of January while Syria’s chase of a first win sees them traveling to third-placed United Arab Emirates next.

A comfortable win for Iran keeps them at top of the table.

Team Melli defeated Syria 3 -0 in Amman in the first match of Group A’s return legs of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifiers. The goals were scored by Saradar Azmoun (33’),  Ehsan Hajsafi (42’)(P), and Ali Gholizadeh (89’).

With this win Iran consolidates its position at the top of the table with 16 points, opening a 10 points gap with the team in the third position UAE. Korea Rep. beat Iraq 3-0 in Doha to remain second with 14 points.

This match saw a much-improved performance from the Lebanon game 5 days ago. The changes that Skocic had to make on the lineup were sensible and effective. Beiranvand was given an off day in goal, while his deputy Abedzadeh was a very competent replacement despite not being really tested. His Aerial ball control was immaculate, but his ball distribution was quite impressive.

The midfield was more effective and distributed the ball efficiently feeding Azmoun and the flanks.  In defense, the introduction of Omid Nourafakan was satisfactory, while Sadegh Moharrami had a sterling performance.

Ahmad Nourallahi was one of Iran’s best players and it is pity that he was not on the scoresheet after several fine shoots especially near the ends of the match which the Syrian keeper remarkably saved.

Azmoun scored the opener with a marvelous assist from Vahid Amiri. Azmoun immaculate ball control, his escape from two Syrian markers, and the finishing touch was world-class.   Azmoun however, could have easily ended this match with a hat trick missing two golden opportunities in the second half.

Hajsafi made a start after some time with Team Melli, however, he has not lost any of his quality and scored well from the penalty.

The third goal by Gholizadeh was Messi-like. The Chareloi midfielder received the ball on the left and bamboozled four Syrian players before slotting the ball into the net. It was a great goal and one for the purists.

This was one of the matches that Team Melli won in performance and result. Players were disciplined and hardly made mistakes of judgment. It also helped that the Syrians came to play football and that made the match competitive and entertaining. However, the difference in class was evident from the start.

Although there were many candidates for MVP including Azmoun, Nourollahi, GHolizadeh, and Moharrami, The star of the match was Vahid Amiri. Not only did he provide a classy assist to Azmoun, his energy, runs on the flank, control of the ball, passing accuracy, and general attitude in the game were exemplary.

22 Domestic League players invited to Team Melli camp.

Dragan Skocic announced the list of 22 players playing in the domestic League to attend the national team camp.

The 22 players will be in Team Melli’s mini-camp for five days to August 30th. With the announcement of the final list of the team for the games against Syria and Iraq in FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifiers, most of the players on this list will be eliminated. Seven players from Esteghlal, five players from Persepolis, and Sepahan, three players from Gol Gohar, one player from Traktorsazi and  Foolad are forming the squad invited, which will realistically probably end up with not more than three of the original squad.

Zubair Niknafs, Mohammad Karimi, Mehdi Abdi, Saleh Hardani, Mohammad Hossein Moradmand, Ahmad Zandeh Rouh, Yasin Salmani are the players who will participate in the national team camp for the first time.

Individuals such as Arsalan Motahari, Shahriyar Moghanloo, Farshid Ismaili, Saeed Aghaei, Seyed Hossein Hosseini, Farshad Ahmadzadeh, Siavash Yazdani, had been invited to the national team for one or two camps in recent years. Also, one of the interesting points in this list is the return of Seyed Hossein Hosseini, who has replaced Rashid Mazaheri. Hosseini had a steady presence in the national camps for a while, but with a relative performance decline in the 19th and early 20th leagues, he was completely eliminated from the national team, but now he has taken the place of his rival in Esteghlal.

Esteghlal: (7) Hossein Hosseini, Aref Aghasi, Mohammad Hossein Moradmand, Farshid Ismaili, Amir Arsalan Motahhari, Zubair Nikonfas and Siavash Yazdani

Persepolis: (5) Saeed Aghaei, Vahid Amiri, Mehdi Torabi, Mehdi Abdi, and Milad Sarlak.

Sepahan Esfahan: (5) Omid Nourafkan, Yasin Salmani, Shahriyar Moghanloo,, Farshad Ahmadzadeh and Mohammad Karimi

Golgohar Sirjan: (3) Mehdi Tikdari, Armin Sohrabian, Ahmad Zenderooh.

TractorSazi: (1) Mohammad Reza Akhbari

Foolad Khuzestan: (1) Saleh Hardani

Dragan Skocic proud of his team’s resolve and performance

Riffa: Islamic Republic of Iran head coach Dragan Skočić, praised his side’s resolve and performance in the 3-0 win over Bahrain in Group C of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 on Monday.

After a relatively even first half, Iran were dominant in the second period with Sardar Azmoun scoring twice in eight minutes, before Mehdi Taremi sealed the win with a strike of his own.

Skocic was ecstatic with the result, which pushed the Central Asians up to second place on 12 points in the standings, ahead of Bahrain on goal difference. Leaders Iraq have 14 points.

“First of all, I want to congratulate my team for the valuable win against Bahrain. We started the campaign with just six points but have earned two important wins against Hong Kong and Bahrain,” Skocic said.

“The win doesn’t surprise us because we entered the match with the aim of getting three points.”

Dragan Skocic - FFIRI

Skocic revealed that he had made changes to Iran’s style of play which produced the important win but expressed concern that Vahid Amiri is facing the possibility of being sidelined for their remaining two fixtures.

“We tried to avoid any defensive mistakes that could have cost us a lot and put an end to our chances. Congratulations to the players once again. The only negative point from this game was losing one of our best players, Vahid Amiri, and we will probably have a problem with his absence for the coming matches.”

IR Iran v Bahrain - AQ (7)

“The result was based on the tactics we chose, and I’m proud of this victory. I have said before that the Bahraini team is a respectable team, and we prepared thoroughly for the match.

“Our style of play was completely different from the match against Hong Kong. We were ready for this game, and right now I want to enjoy this historic victory. We will start thinking about Cambodia on Tuesday,” Skocic added.

Iran face a must-win match against Cambodia on Friday, before playing Iraq in their final fixture four days later.

Bahrain head coach Helio Sousa didn’t hide his disappointment, saying: “If there is someone who should be disappointed, it would be me.

“We have built great confidence in our team and everyone believed in us to achieve victory but we faced a difficult team.

“A draw would have been a better result for us rather than the defeat, of course. Now, we must reach 15 points but our chances are slim because Iraq and Iran have two matches remaining.”

Sousa said the difference between the two sides was that Iran had the likes of Azmoun and Taremi.

“The strength of Iran was their ability to launch attacks from the middle and we should have not given them space to do what they want,” said the Portuguese coach.

“Our opponents had good quality players, including the best player in the Russian Premier League while they also have several players who play in top teams around Europe.

“We made good substitutions but the second goal that we conceded affected us a lot. We were hoping to have a better result but we failed to do so although we played with a lot of bravery.”


Iran starts with a comfortable win against Hong Kong

Iran defeated Hong Kong 3-1 in the preliminary rounds of FIFA World Cup 2021 in the match held this afternoon in Muharraq Stadium, Bahrain. Iran’s goals were scored by Ali Gholizadeh (23’), Vahid Amiri (61’), and Karim Ansarifard (84’). Hong Kong’s lone goal was scored by Cheng Siu Kwang (85’).

From the onset and a one-sided match, Team Melli took full control of the field, however, they found it difficult to penetrate the solid-packed Hong Kong defense. The solitary goal scored by Gholizadeh was the result of individual skill rather than a team plan.

While the result was quite satisfactory and puts Iran second in the table two points behind Iraq, it was far from polished. In a worst-case scenario, that performance was concerning. The team was clearly short of group practice and coherence. There was a definite deficiency of understanding between players with many passes going astray. The worst of these misunderstandings was upfront between Azmoun and Taremi. None of the very few passes between them, including some unnecessary back heels, were effective. The most concerning issue however was the two forwards body language. There was a hint of frustration and perhaps lack of serious application evident in their game. They were both rightly substituted midway in the second half.

Tactically speaking, Skocic boys could not find a way through the center of defense. In a system where the other team parks the bus, several other solutions, and plans have to be applied, such as dribbling and short fast passes. The inter-passing of the forwards was too slow and too predictable.

A plethora of corners for Iran failed to produce a single goal against the compact Hong Kong Defense.

After the late substitutions, including the introduction of Torabi, Ghoddos, and Ansarifard, Iran played better and managed to score two more goals in the second half.

There are a lot of areas that Skocic needs to be concerned with in this team. Lack of group practice and hence poor understanding between the players is the biggest concern for the next match, however, the commitment and the mental status of key players remains a peril. Matches are not won on history and reputations. Without 100% commitment, it will be difficult to play against mentally tough teams despite being inferior technically to Team Melli.

Iran will meet Bahrain Next. It will probably be the toughest test and a must-win. Psychological preparation is as important as physical for that encounter.

BOSNIA vs IRAN 0-2 :perfect record for Skocic

Team Melli defeated Bosnia & Herzegovina 0-2 in Asim Ferhatović Hase Stadium, Sarajevo. The first half ended goalless. In the second half, Kaveh Rezaei scored the first in the 46th Minute, While in the dying minutes 90+2, the substitute Mehdi Ghayedi scored Iran’s second.  

 Bosnian star player Miralem Pjanic was supposed to be given a rest to prepare him for the crucial match against Italy, but it seems that the coach had cold feet and needed the Barcelona midfielder to inject some experience and creativity against Iran,

Both teams played open football with Iran having a slight advantage over the host in ball keeping. In the second match under Dragan Skočić, the Croatian picked a well-balanced team in the absence of at least half a dozen regular Team Melli starters.

Despite the pre-match statement of the Bosnian coach, who reckoned that Iran’s defense was vulnerable,  this match proved otherwise. Shoja’a Khalizadeh and Hossein Kannanizadegan formed a sold wall in the center while Mohammadi and Sadegh Moharrami were excellent on the flanks. Team Melli hardly worked to their maximum and managed to easily thwart the Bosnian offensive moves. Whatever filtered from the defenders, Abedzadeh masterly controlled his goals with perfect timings and solid catches. The Maritimo keeper is certainly becoming a serious contender for the number one spot in goal ahead of Beiranvand.

Iran played a balanced game and was clearly better prepared than the host. In the first 15 minutes, Team Melli could have been at least 2 goals up if it was not for the brave Bosnian keeper Jasmin Buric who saved Kaveh Rezaei from a close-range shot after Kaveh robbed the ball in the penalty area and was face to face with the keeper. Minutes later, Ali Gholizadeh had just one defender to beat for a clear shot of the gaping goal, in a similar situation but could not dribble past his marker. And finally, Vahid Amiri was beaten in a split of a second when he also was face-to-face with the Buric.

In the second half, Team Melli started unchanged. IN the first minute, Amiri, who robbed the ball on the right flank from the Bosnian defender, found Rezaei just outside the box and he squared the pass to him. After taking a couple of steps, Kaveh Rezaei picked his spot on the opposite end of the gaol and sent a delicious curler that beat two defenders and the keeper into the net. It was a world-class strike by Chreloi forward.

Several changes in the team and the same with Bosnia changed the rhythm and the pace slightly, but both continued the offensive gameplay in what was an entertaining encounter. Saeed Ezatolahi made the team after a long absence and his presence was felt. He could have made a much better pass for Team Melli to score on the counter, but his poor pass was intercepted robbing Iran of a goal. Otherwise, his towering presence and energy were quite refreshing for the team.

Mehdi Ghayedi was introduced late, and the Esteghal tiny forward scored Iran’s second with another cracking half volley on the far side of the keeper to make it 2-0 for Team Melli in the dying minutes

It was a very good performance by Team Melli. The defense line quite assuring, while u front, Gholizadeh, and Rezaei, teammates in Chareloi were quite a threat and made Bosina defenders work hard against them. The only concern about the excellent team arranged by Dragan Skocic was the midfield. which was ineffective and lacked depth the skills to be effective. In big games, that lack of creativity could bite back badly. Omid Noorafkan and Ezatollahi’s introduction improved the midfield, Noorallahi was a disappointment.

In reality, there was no midfield as the balls traveled directly to the forwards from the keeper or defenders to utilize the speed of the flanks and Rezaei limiting the effectiveness of the midfield.

Overall, it was an excellent performance and a perfect record for the Croatian head coach who is assisted by Vahid Hashemian. This performance augurs well for the team in the qualifiers that will start again in March 2012.



Roozbeh Cheshmi wanted by Trabzonspor.

Trabzonspor has managed only 2 clean sheets this season. In this context, the club continued to work for an Iranian defender, such as Majid Hosseini to add to the team’s defensive strength.

The popular Turkish newspaper  Hurriyet reported in today’s edition on Trabzonspor’s plan to recruit another Esteghlal player.

Trabzonspor, currently ranked 3rd in the league, whose ambition is to be top club and league leader is already seeking in their transfer agenda some defensive enforcement. This season, with 14 league match played, only 2 matches ended in a clean sheet with the team conceding in the rest of the 12.

The Bordeaux-blues are now interested in Roozbeh Cheshmi , who continues his career in Esteghlal. Iranian National Team’s 26-year-old player would possibly replace or partner Majid Hosseini whose club’s contract expires at the end of the season.

Scouts of the Black Sea representative followed Esteghlal’s match with Shahin yesterday. Bordeaux-blue executives will soon sit at the table with Cheshmi the club announced.

Hosseini’s positive reference and recommendations for the successful stopper, the Black Sea team representative will propose a small transfer figure. Iranian team Esteghlal is expected to accept this proposal as the conclusion of the contract will be at the end of the season.

The Turkish club also had Vahid Amiri on their roster for 1 season.

Team Melli starts camp among concerns about Hong Kong riots.

Team Melli started its preparation for the match versus Hong Kong in the qualification rounds of the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar.  The team held its first training session at 6 pm on Sunday with 13 players.

Marc Wilmots spoke with his players for about 5 minutes before commencing field training. The Team Melli head coach also held a few minutes of tactical discussion with his technical staff.

The 13 players who attended the camp are all domestic league players, the Legionnaires are due to join as of tomorrow.

Those presents were : Masoud Shojaei, Ehsan HajSafi, Vahid Amiri, Siavash Yazdani, Hossein Hosseini, Vouria Ghafouri, Ali Karimi, Alireza Biranvand, Mehdi Torabi, Ahmad Nourollahi, Rashid Mazaheri, Mohammad Hosein Kanani Zadegan and Mohammad Naderi

The squad started the warm training under the guidance of assistant coach Vahid Hashemian while Wilmots and his assistants observed from the sidelines. There was no goalkeepers coach present at this session.

 Meanwhile, there is a concern in the Iranian federation as to the suitability and safety of the players in Hong Kong which is currently undergoing political disturbances and also disruptions of operations in the International airport. The latest development Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China is that demonstrators have blocked the roads into and out of the airport built on reclaimed land on the island of Chek Lap Kok. It has only one bridge to the mainland.