Tag: Yasin Salmani

Asian Games 2022: Iran U23 qualify for the quarter-finals

Iran’s Omid team defeated Thailand 2-0 in the round of 16 of the Asian Games in Hangzhou and advanced to the quarter-finals round to meet Hong Kong, winners against Palestine in the same round.

Iran U23 team must be grateful for the Thai goalkeeper’s generosity in gifting both goals to Team Omid. Also, Enayati and his players must thank their own goalkeeper Hossein Hosseini for saving their blushes with some timely saves from the dangerous Thail forwards.

Iran’s first goal (15) was due to Thai goalkeeper Lakhonphon’s blunder and Arslan Motahari’s opportunism. While in control of the ball Lakhonphon was trying to find a teammate to pass to, but he took too much time while Motahari was approaching. By the time Lakhonphon decided to kick the ball away, the Iranian forward was right on his face as the ball hit Motahari and deflected into the empty net. An opportunist goal and an embarrassment for Thailand.

The second goal late in the match, was also another Lakhonphon gift to Iran when he committed a foul on Mamizadeh in the box resulting in a penalty kick which Yasin Salmani dispatched into the Thai net.

It was a difficult win for Omid Team against the lowly Thailand team, who gallantly fought in the hope of qualification and gave their best. Thailand was never overwhelmed by the Iranians and was perhaps the better team in the second half. Omid’s team struggled and as usual, were profligate, uninspiring, and at times even embarrassing. The offensive balls lacked quality and purpose while individual Iranian player skills did not make much of a difference in their overall team performance.

When an Iranian team is time-wasting and taking a long time on the grass faking injury, one knows how embarrassing this team is.

The only bright side of today’s performance was that of Seyed Hossein Hosseini who not only kept a clean sheet for the fourth consecutive match but also saved at least two goals and made further significant saves against a determined Thai onslaught.

With some more bad news on the way, as Persepolis demands the return of their three players, Omid needs all the luck and prayers to defeat Hong Kong in the quarter-finals. With such performance, even defeating a team such as Hong Kong is not guaranteed as the display is not assuring and quality is lacking when most needed from this team.

Meanwhile, China defeated Qatar 1-0, while outright favorites South Korea smashed Kyrgzestan 5-1 to set up an exciting meeting in the quarter-finals between the host and the favorite. in other matches of the same round of 16, North Korea defeated Bahrain 2-0, Hong Kong defeated Palestine 1-0.
Uzbekistan will play Indonesia, India will face Saudi Arabia and Japan will have an easy task against Myanmar to complete the quarter-finals couplings.

Omid team starts the long march against Hong Kong.

Iran’s Omid Team (U23) and also the Olympic team is embarking on a long journey for qualification to the Olympics Games Paris 2024 with a game against Hong Kong.

This match is in the qualification rounds for AFC U23 Championship in which the top 4 teams qualifies for the Olympics. Host Uzbekistan will be the most serious opponent of this group that includes Afghanistan as well.

Under a relatively inexperienced coach, Reza Enayat’s Omid Team is hoping once again to break the long tradition of failures to qualify for the Olympics since 1980. These failures occur even with the availability of quality players under this age bracket. Many Omid teams had Team Melli players, but still failed to qualify with the team falling at different hurdles.

Reza Enyati, the former Team Melli striker, will hardly set the football world alight with his resume and experience in coaching. His short career started in 2019 with Qashqaei and then in the same season, Havadar before moving on to Naft Masjed Soleiman, all teams at the lower end of the tables or in lower tier of football in Iran.

Yet, Enayati, a demanding character, has managed some respectable results with the team so far. He will undoubtedly have a hard and testing times against better. more prepared and organized teams not to mention much experience coaches. It is remains to be seen if Enyati can stand up to the challenge by boosting his players and cover technical and tactical deficiencies by utilizing individual skills and solid defense the team is well capable of.

In toddy’s match , Reza Enayati, the starting lineup against Hong Kong as follows: Mohammad Reza Khaledabadi, Saman Touranian, Hossein Goudarzi, Amin Hizbavi, Mohammad Javad Hosseinnejad, Yasin Salmani, Aria Yousefi, Amir Jafari, Mohammad Ghorbani, Mehdi Hashminejad, Mohammad Reza Bardbar.

The match starts at 15:30 ,(Iran Time) at Lokomotiv Stadium in Tashkent. This meeting will be held in the first stage of the Olympic qualifiers.

WAFF U23 2023

Omid team to meet host Iraq in the final of WAFF U23 Cup.

Omid Team (Iran U23) defeated Jordan in a penalty shootout to book a place in the final match against host Iraq.

The match was a dour affair with neither of the teams impressing in a match that only saw two serious attempts at scoring. The extra time was not played as usual as after the goalless draw the match went directly to penalty Shootouts which ended 4-3 in favor of Iran.

Reza Enayati, the head coach of the Omid team said: “As of now, our celebration and joy period happiness is over and we are only thinking about the final.” said in the press conference after the win against Jordan and advancing to the finals of the West Asian Under-23 Championship ” Jordan is a good team and we had a tough game. I have to thank the players of the team who showed zeal and were able to achieve this result.”

He continued:” Now the joy of winning in the semi-final is over and we should only think about the final. It doesn’t matter to us whether the opponent is Iraq or Oman. We strive for success. In response to a question about the physical pressure on the team’s players at the end of the second half, Enayati said: This was predictable because we play every other day. Of course, our players managed the game well in the second half. He added: ” We went through difficult training conditions. We had to practice in Karbala from 5 to 6 o’clock, which caused a lot of physical pressure. In the matter of recovery, there was also a problem of compression of matches.”

Iran Omid Team led by the brilliant Yasin Salmani, is looking to take back the trophy last won by an Iranian team 14 years ago in Amman.

Host Iraq narrowly defeated Oman 1-0 to set up the final on Tuesday in Karbala at 21:30 local time.

Omid Team called for Islamic Solidarity Games 2022

The Football federation announced the name of 26 players invited to join the Omid Team camp in preparation for The Islamic Solidarity Games football competition in Turkey.

The team will be led by coach Mehdi Mahdavikia who has arranged two friendly games before departure for the games.

Omid team’s last outing in the AFC U23 Asian Championship was rather disappointing as the team did not manage to qualify from the group stage and departed home early. In the last decade, Omid team under various coaches failed in every competition that has been played including the Olympic Qualifiers.


The invited players’ list

  1. Ali Pilaram (South Pars)
  2. Alireza Khodaei (Persepolis)
  3. Ali Asghar SadeghNasab (Mes Rafsanjan)
  4. Amir Ali Sadeghi (Esteghlal)
  5. Amir Jafari Siglani (Gol Gohar Sirjan)
  6. Amir Mohammad MohkamKar (Sepahan)
  7. Arya Barzegar (Tractor)
  8. Arya Yousefi (Sepahan)
  9. Bilal Arazi (Gol Gohar Sirjan)
  10. Erfan Shahriari Khalaji,
  11. Fardin Rabet
  12. Mehdi Hashemnejad (Tractor)
  13. Mohammad Ghorbani (Nasiji Mazandaran)
  14. Mohammad Hossein Alipour (Mes Shar Babak) 
  15. Mohammad Hossein Eslami (Zob Ahan)
  16. Mohammad Javadkia (Aluminium Arak)
  17. Mohammad Mehdi Ahmadi (Persepolis)
  18. Mohammad Amin Hezbavi (Foolad Khuzestan)
  19. Milad Kerr (Tractor)
  20. Payam Parsa (Sanat Naft Abadan)
  21. Saman Falah (Peykan)
  22. Saman Tooranian (Mes Kerman)
  23. Sina SaeediFar (Esteghlal)
  24. Sina Abdollahei (Naft Masjed Soleiman)
  25. Yasin Salmani (Sepahan)
  26. Younis Akbarpour (Aluminium Arak)

Shahriari saves Iran against Qatar.

Tashkent: Iran and Qatar settled for a 1-1 draw following late drama in Group A of the AFC U23 Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan 2022 at the Bunyodkor Stadium on Wednesday.
Qatar looked to have sealed the points through Ahmed Al Ganehi’s 87th-minute effort, only for Erfan Shahriari to salvage a point for Iran with his strike in stoppage time.
Determined to redeem themselves after their group stage exit in 2020, Qatar were the first to have a sight on goal when Osamah Al Tairi beat the offside trap in the third minute, before pulling back for Moustafa Tarek who, however, struck directly at goalkeeper Parsa Jafari.

Iran, who had scored nine goals in the Qualifiers, responded immediately with captain Yasin Salmani collecting Ahmad Shariatzadeh’s through ball into the box before beating two defenders only to see his shot deflect off Ahmed Suhail’s back heel.
That was to be the turning point as Team Melli Omid controlled possession and had a handful of opportunities through crosses into the area, but Salmani and Shariatzadeh were unable to lay the finishing touch.

Qatar’s best chances of the opening half came through corner kicks, none more so than in the 43rd minute when Hashim Ali was left unmarked near the post but failed to keep his volley on target as both sides went into the halftime break level.
Shahriari, who replaced Arya Yousefi at the start of the second half, came close to connecting to Mohammad Khodabandelho’s chipped effort into the box six minutes in before heading wide moments later.

While Qatar were pegged back in their own half for the most part, the young Maroons had a chance in the 62nd minute following a swift counter-attacking move with Yusuf Abdurisag threatening the Iranian backline, but his twist-and-turn effort lacked precision.

In an effort to bolster their midfield presence, Qatar head coach Nicolas Cordova sent on Al Ganehi and Andri Syahputra in the 72nd minute, which proved successful in not only pushing the Iranians back but also paving the way for the opening goal with Al Ganehi collecting Tarek’s pass in the box and slotting past Jafari in the 87th minute.

However, Qatar’s celebration only lasted three minutes as an unmanned Shahriari latched onto a stray ball in the box, before slamming home from close range.

Iran will face fellow Turkmenistan next on Saturday, while Qatar take on Uzbekistan in the day’s later kick-off.
Iran Line-up:
P. Jafari ; M. Hashemnejad, M. Kor, A. Jafari, S. Fallah, M. Khodabandelou, A. Sadeghi (80′ B. Arazi), Y. Salmani (90+3 Y Rostami) ,A. Shariatzadeh (74′ Sabet),M. Ghorbani, A. Yousefi (46‎’ E. Shahriari)

Prospects of Omid Team in AFC U23 Asian Cup 2022

Mehdi Mahdavikia embarks on a difficult journey to qualify the Omid (U23) team for the next Olympics in Paris. Iran’s football has failed to qualify for the Olympics for 42 years. The last time Iran qualified was two years after the revolution in 1980, but even then the Team was no show due to the ill-advised boycott of the Moscow Olympic Games.

The players Mahdavikia selected are those who can be available to make it to Paris except for a few whose age will limit them.

Unlike most of the new Iranian coaches, Mahdavikia took the right path in qualifying as a coach. He has attended several courses and had his on job training experience at Hamburg SV as a coach of age group teams. His experience is valuable for Team Melli teams, but there will always be a disconnect between him and his players because of the different football cultures the domestic player have been playing under.

The Difficulties.

The Omid team players are mostly a product of Iran’s domestic league. The majority of them play for the middle of the table or lower clubs. Iran’s domestic league at best is a poor league and of a lower standard than the more advanced Asian teams such as Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Australia, and Qatar.  This standard of the league reflects directly on the team, so Mahdavikia has the challenging task of upgrading the capabilities of the players by teaching them skills and modern techniques they have not been exposed to before.  A better standard of coaching in Iran would have helped, unfortunately, in Iran, the coaches are even poorer than the league itself. Most of them retire as players and turn up the next day as coaches of the youth teams, the worst possible scenario in football.

The mental toughness and emotional condition of Iranian players have always lagged the others. Such weakness leads to defeats that would have been avoided, however, Mahdavikia has limited options to make his players unlearn years of poor training and mental preparation in a matter of days. If he can even partially overcome this perpetual problem then Omid Team stands a chance to make it to the semifinals at least. Basic behavior such as goal celebration is eccentric and at times embarrassing and petulant. The team needs a certain level of maturity and learning to behave under all conditions.

Discipline is another issue that hindered Iranian players at all levels. In fact, football is not immune from society, so indiscipline is quite rife. If there is no firm disciplinary measure, the problem will even intensify, and the results can be catastrophic like not even making it from the group level. That is a tough job for the Head Coach who is never been known to be a tough guy. It remains to be seen if his European career experience will have an effect on the squad and help sort out the young players.

The Positives.

A winning mentality is engraved in Iranian culture. You can count on every Iranian team to fight to the end and not give up. This is quite important especially when the team is behind.

The physique of Omid players is at a decent level, they seem to be strong and solid. A physically weak team is at a disadvantage from the word go and even more, skillful teams can suffer if the opposition is physically stronger and wins tackles around the pitch.

It is safe to say that Omid Team and Mahdavikia have no star players on the team. However, in captain Yasin Salmani, the team has a strong leader and quite a skillful player who has already scored spectacular goals in the domestic league. The absence of Allahyar Sayyadmanesh and Mehdi Ghaedi will be felt, but since they are both playing outside Iran, their availability was an issue.


Anything above qualifying from this group is progress for Iran’s Omid team in this tournament. There are already two tough teams in Uzbekistan and Qatar so their qualification from the group is not assured.

With so many good teams in this edition, it is not very easy for Iran to make the final. A semi-final is the best the fans can hope for, but like they always say, football is unpredictable.

Iran’s Omid Team defeats Iraq in a friendly

Iran’s Omid national football team defeated its Iraqi counterpart by one goal at the Medina Stadium in Baghdad tonight at 9 pm.

The U23 Team or the national football team of Omid is currently in Iraq for a training camp that includes two friendly matches.

Under Mehdi Mahdavikia, the players are preparing for the upcoming AFC U23 Asian Cups. The only goal of the game came in the first half in the 12th minute by Aria Yousefi, a Sepahani player recently invited to the Omid national team.

Omid Iran line up was as follows:  Parsa Jafari, Amir Jafari, Milad Kerr, Saman Fallah (Mohammad Ghorbani), Alireza Khodaei, Mohammad Khodabandeh Lou, Yasin Salmani (captain), Mohammad Hossein Zaveri (Ali Pilaram), Amir Ali Sadeghi, Ahmad Shariatzadeh (Mohammad Javad) Kalmarzi), Arya Yousefi.

Sensational Salmani sends Iran’s Omid Team to Finals


Iran qualified as group winners, while Tajikistan face a nervous wait to learn their fate after Group B of the AFC U23 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2022 qualifiers concluded on Sunday.
Team Melli Omid ran out 3-2 winners in the final, group-deciding clash against Tajikistan to book their place, leaving the group hosts as potential qualifiers as one of the best placed runners-up, while Lebanon defeated Nepal 4-0 in the earlier match.


A sensational hat-trick from captain Yasin Salmani took Mehdi Mahdvikia’s side all the way to Uzbekistan 2022 after a thrilling Group B final ended in 3-2 Islamic Republic of Iran’s favor.

The Sepahan youngster bagged all three goals in a dizzying first half, where the teams traded five goals in the space of 35 minutes in front of a vibrant Central Republican Stadium crowd.Iran’s win sends them back to the continental Finals, but Tajikistan will have to wait to see if they will join them as one of the four best placed runners-up after they missed their chance to win the group on the night.

Mubin Ergashev’s side got off to a flying start, and the Dushanbe crowd erupted when Islom Zairov fired home a terrific volley in the 10th minute, but they were silenced when Salmani beat goalkeeper Shohrulh Qirghizboev with a low free-kick just three minutes later.

Salmani gave Iran the lead when he benefited from an error by Naimdzhon Ibrogimzoda in the 19th minute, but Tajikistan were level once again when Ehson Panshanbe converted a penalty to make it 2-2 after 22 thrilling minutes.

Iran’s captain continued his one-man mission when he scored a superb header to make it 3-2 in the final minute of the first half, meaning Tajikistan – who needed only a draw to seal their place at the finals – played catch-up after the break.

Yasin Salmani, the captain of Omid team, was the star of the show with his hat-trick in the 13th, 19th, and 44th minutes, becoming one of the top scorers in the group stage. Henanov also scored for Tajikistan in the 10th and 22nd minutes (penalty) on Thursday.
In this match, Aria Barzegar was sent off in the 86th minute after receiving a direct red card, and Mahdavikia’s players played with one player short for about 10 minutes.
Omid team lineup was : Reza Kakhsaz, Younes Akbarpour, Milad Kerr, Saman Fallah, Mehdi Hasheminejad, Mohammad Khodabandeh Lou, Yasin Salmani (captain), Hossein Nokhodkar, Mehdi Lamouchi, Amir Ali Sadeghi and Sobhan Khaghani.
In the group standings, Iran with 9 points, Tajikistan with 6 points, Lebanon with 3 points and Nepal without points are in the first to fourth places. Thus, the Iranian national U23 team qualifies to the finals of AFC U23 Championship, and Tajikistan, as the second team in the group, has to wait for the end of the games in the other 10 groups of this stage. The top 11 teams, the four best second placed teams as well as Uzbekistan (host) are qualified for the Final tournament in June 2022.
In their previous games, the Omid team had defeated Nepal by 4 goals and Lebanon by 2 goals

They had their chances to equalize in a second half that was no less entertaining despite the relative paucity of goalmouth action.

Panshanbe narrowly missed with a free-kick, while Rustam Soirov saw an effort cleared off the goal-line just prior to a flurry of near-misses for the hosts, but Iran held on to secure a crucial victory in one of the most entertaining games seen anywhere across Asia this week.

Omid team defeats Lebanon in AFC U23 qualifiers.

Dushanbe: Iran and group host Tajikistan set up a winner-takes-all Group B finale in AFC U23 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2022 qualifying after both sides secured wins on Thursday.
Iran earned a 2-0 win over Lebanon in the early match at Dushanbe’s Central Republican Stadium, before Tajikistan piled on the goals to beat Nepal 6-0 in the later game.
Lebanon 0-2 IR Iran

Keen to build on their strong finish In Monday’s 4-0 win over Nepal. Iran took just five minutes to go ahead through Mehdi Lamouchi, who latched onto skipper Yasin Salmani’s pass before beating Lebanese goalkeeper Antoine Al Douaihy from close range.

Iran suffered a blow when Mohammad Khodabandehlo was sent off after being shown a second yellow card in the 36th minute, but Lebanon failed to capitalize on their numerical advantage.

Mahdavikia’s side missed the chance to extend their lead when Saman Fallahvarnami’s Panenka-style penalty kick was kept out by the woodwork in the 90th minute, but the second goal did arrive in the fourth minute of injury time, with Milad Kor rising high to head home the sealer.

Team Melli Omid now faces what looms as a crucial clash with Tajikistan, while Lebanon will be playing for pride in their final outing against Nepal.

Iran U19 defeats Indonesia in a friendly.

As part of a long term preparation plan, Iran’s youth team (U-19) played its Indonesian counterpart in a friendly match yesterday.  The Iranian youth won the first match 4-2 with goals scored by Yasin Salmani in the first half, Ali Sobhani, Aria Barzegar and Mehdi Hashemi.

Iran is hosting Indonesia for a two-match series and will be playing the next after a day’s rest before leaving home to Jakarta.

In yesterday’s match, Iran started well as the neatly distributed the ball. Under the leadership of head coach Siruspour Mousavi, the team looked well balanced and finished the half victorious.   The U-19 team taking full advantage of hosting and support of the home crowds. Iranian youth quickly controlled the game and its pace with a high percentage of ball possession.  In minute 15, a foul on Ali Sobhani by the Indonesian defender in the box resulted in a penalty for Iran. Yasin Salmani scored the spot-kick , 1 -0 for Iran.

The home side continued to look for opportunities, but Indonesians piled up the defenders to limit the Iranian threats.

The first half finished with Iran leading 1-0.

At the beginning of the second half Indonesia were able to draw level with a fine goal, but that equalizer was short-lived as Ali Sobhani put Iran 2-1 ahead in the 50th minute.

Seven minutes later Aria Barzegar scored Iran’s 3rd goal to put the host in full control. With Iran pressing upfront looking for more goals, the Indonesian counter-attacks were threating. However, Mehdi Hashemi killed off the game in the 60th minute when he scored Iran’s fourth.

Indonesia managed a late consolation goal five minutes before the end in a match which gave the Iranians a decisive 4 – 2 victory.