Team Melli defeats Qatar by four goals.

In Amman, the final match of the four nations tournament was held with Team Melli facing their former head coach, Carlos Queiroz. A brace by the substitute defender Hossein Kananizadegan, and a goal each by Ali Jahanbakhsh, and Sardar Azmoun all in a ten-minute period in the second half assured Iran an emphatic win and another regional title.

Ghalenoei, started the match with three changes, leaving Kananizadegan, Nourollahi, and Hajsafi out of the starting lineup. Ghoddos, Milad Mohammadi, and Morteza Pouraliganji were the rep[lacements.

The first half was a scruffy affair with Iran having more opportunities, but the finishing did not complement the good moves. Qatar, true to Queiroz principles, formed a solid defense and made life difficult for the central forwards’ pair, Azmoun and Taremi who were disjointed and lacked understanding. There was hardly a pass between them. To make matters more worrying, the body language between the two was far from assuring.

In the second half, both coaches stuck to their game plan. The first real event was the injury to Pouraliganji which looked serious. He was substituted and taken out on a stretcher. Kananizadegan was a direct replacment.

With Iran having more of the possession and having better control of the midfield with Ghoddos directing the play, and Ezatoolahi improving his game despite many passing errors, it was a matter of time before Iran would score.

The first goal was scored in the 69th minute from a corner taken by Rezaeian which was powerfully headed into the net by Kanani. Four minutes later (73), a result of some fine and intricate work on the left side by Miald Mohammadi ended in a square ball into the box to the unmarked Jahanbakhsh, who slotted the ball into the net. 2-0

Two minutes after the second goal, Milad Mohammadi was again the provider from the left flank, this time he found Azmoun in the box, and the AS Roma player scored on a half-turn in minute 75.

Kananizadegan finished the scoring four minutes later for his second goal and Iran’s fourth with another far post header from another Rezaeian assist.

a four-goal blitz in ten minutes was the second-biggest win of Iran against Qatar and a big disappointment for Querioz. Despite the big margin of victory, Team Melli is still not running on all cylinders.

The defense and the midfield improved but not by much. It is always hard to criticize a team that has won by a four-goal margin, but the real test has to be in the Asian Cup when Team Melli faces the might of teams such as Japan or South Korea.

Due to the criminal bombardment of a hospital in Gazza by the Israeli regime, just a few hours before the match, over 500 casualties were reported with a large number of deaths including women and children, no ceremonies were held after the final whistle.