Team Melli vs Oman: players rating and performance review.

It was a clinical victory for Team Melli against a stubborn Omani team which has no inferiority complex playing against higher ranked and bigger teams.  The overall rating of the team performance was higher than average bordering excellent. A smartly taken goal by Alireza Jahanbakhsh to score his first goal in the tournament and a well taken penalty kick by Ashkan Dejagah sealed the victory for Team Melli in a match they dominated but could not close early enough

We will discover the positives and negatives of the match versus Oman and see if we learned from the shortfalls.

Beiravand’s save was crucial and this covered one deficiency in Team Melli otherwise impeccable defense. The lack of pace in the central defenders in this case Majid Hosseini despite his ability and youthful energy, left him chasing after a faster and more agile forward , tacking him from behind , conceding a penalty and a yellow card for good measure. Such shortfall does not necessarily render Hosseini incapable of playing for Team Melli at international level; it means that the covering work and the defensive tactics should cater for such instances. That is the work of a defensive coordinator or coach. Perhaps by experience, Hosseini would improve and does not indulge in tackles and fouls that risk him being sent off.

Sardar Azmoun is by far is the best forward in Team Melli. His physique, mental strength, skills and heading ability makes Azmoun an excellent asset for any team. He is easily the gem in the crown of Iran, but Sardar has shown his negative side too in Oman game by wasting easy scoring chances.

While Azmoun has the skills and ability to score from the most awkward of positions, he wasted at least 3 glorious ones on Sunday. One chance that only required mildest of shoot, another one which only required accuracy and a header that he would normally slot as easy as ABC. Against Oman he failed to convert any one of them. It was a battle between him and Taremi on how many chances they can squander.

Taremi , perhaps not as resourceful or skillful as Azmoun, had his bad day too. The golden miss was that ball that he could have either passed to Azmoun but instead he opted to lob. It was not a clever decision and the ball ended wide and nowhere near the target.

At the end, it really did not matter as Azmoun & Taremi colleagues have done the job already, but scoring chances will be far and few in matches against the stronger oppositions such as Japan and South Korea. If they are not taken, then it could possibly mean the end of a dream.

Very difficult to pinpoint why the Team Melli attacking pair missed so many chances. It could be anything of nerves, haste, overconfidence, casualness or negligence, whatever it is; it needs to be sorted out. Perhaps it is all in the mind. These two players can play a major role in Team Melli’s quest for the lifting of the title. They need to be sorted out by someone in the coaching staff.


A special mention has to be given to two distinct players. Alireza Beiranvand with that excellent penalty save as early as the first minutes of the game and the grand performance of Ashkan Dejagah who was like the dynamo of the team playing on of his best matches in Team Melli Jersey.

The significance of Beirnavand cannot be over emphasized for many reasons. Falling behind so early in a match not only has a negative psychological effect on the conceding team, while it hypes the other, against Teams like Oman it means parking the bus.

Thankfully, we did not have to experience that agony the moment Beiravand saved Ahmen Kanoo’s penalty.

About the performance of Ashkan Dejagah. The Tractorsazi’s midfielder hardly put a foot wrong, orchestrating the midfield, cleverly distributing the ball,  defending deep , challenging for the ball when required and overall being a good motivator , leader  and visionary. He was tireless and gave a few younger players a lesson in endurance too.

  • Alireza Beiranvand (9): The single player who made difference for his early save. However, he also made a number of excellent stops. His long throws,, are becoming a lethal weapon. Proved beyond any shadow of doubt, that he is the best goalkeepers in Asia, one one of the best in the world.
  • Milad Mohammadi (7.5):  Although his turbo runs on the flanks was not much in evidence today, he was convincing in defense and very little passed him. .
  • Majid Hosseini (4): Single handedly could have cost the team the game. Poor marking and a silly foul resulted in a penalty on the first attack by Oman. Later on he was quite lucky not to be sent off for another bookable offense. A day to forget for the young defender.
  •  Morteza Pouraliganji (8): Although did not face a strong offensive line, he did his job perfectly and dealt with the opposition attackers with ease.
  • Ramin Rezaeian (6): He is still rusty at times and lack of competitive match practice is evident in his game. However, he contributed well towards both attack and defense.
  • Mahdi Taremi (5.5): Wasteful and disappointing for the player who started this campaign so well. He has not scored since netting two against Yemen and needs a confidence booster match against China to keep him going. His most important contribution was winning the penalty which Ashkan Dejagah converted.
  • Omid Ebrahimi (7.5): The always reliable defensive midfield who never fails to impress and always delivers. He had yet another good game and alongside Dejagah, controlled the midfield not allowing the Omanis any chances to pressurize the Iranian defense.
  • Ashkan Dejagah (9): An excellent performance worthy of an Oscar. Has been Iran’s one of the best Team Melli players throughout the tournament. Did not put a foot wrong and ensured superiority in the middle of the park while feeding the flanks for offensive moves. Scored the team’s second goal, netting a crucial penalty in the 41st minute.
  • Alireza Jahanbaksh (7.5): Still not operating on all cylinders after the recovery from injury, however, Queiroz trusted him to start for the second match running, and he delivered. Troubled the opposition time and again and finally scored Team Melli’s first goals after a smart piece of play.
  • Vahid Amiri (7): Had a good game playing just behind the attacker. Always looked to play his teammates in behind the defense.
  • Sardar Azmoun (7): Very strong performance marred by awful wastefulness. He could have easily scored a hat trick. Shot wide from close range when it seemed easier to score than miss. However, the rest of his game, tackling and winning the ball was immaculate.


  1. Saman Ghoddos (6): Came on just before the 80th-minute mark and looked lively during the time he was on the pitch.
  2. Roozbeh Cheshmi (6): Replaced goal-scorer Alireza Jahanbaksh but couldn’t’ replicate his attacking input. However, he had a decent time on the pitch.
  3. Masoud Shojaei (N/A): Came on in the final few minutes as Iran looked to see out the match.