Tuesday, 12 June 2012 22:10
PFDC - TEHRAN, An average possession of 60% and more than 15 corner kicks were not enough for Iran to defeat a stonewalling Qatari national team in the 2014 World Cup Qualifier in Tehran's Azadi Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Nearly 100,000 spectators and many more at home saw an Iranian national team, which started well into the match, but was close to concede an early goal by Qatar's Sebastian Soria in the fifth minute, who couldn't reach the ball in the penalty area.
Saipa striker Karim Ansarifard (20') and Andranik Teymourian (27') could have score the lead for the homeside, but they were either denied by the Senegalese goalkeeper Burhan in Qatar's service or their attempts were too weak.
In the 29th minute, Iran had it's most strongest moments during this match, as Mahini's throw-in reached Osasuna midfielder Javad Nekounam, who was close to volley the ball into the net, his shot bounced off the woodwork. A following Iranian header over Burhan was cleared off the line by a defender.
On the other side, Iran goalkeeper Mehdi Rahmati saved a strong header by Qatar after a corner-kick (35').
Five minutes before the halftime whistle, it was again Ansarifard, who had the opportunity to score for Iran by a header after a Teymourian cross, which was denied by the goalkeeper.
The second half can be described in few words: weak, toothless, idealess. While the Qataris tried to pool their strengths to keep a draw, the Iranians didn't find a way to break the wall.
Numerous useless crosses, often by the uninspired Khosro Heydari, ruined Iran's offensive play, as well as a lack of effort of the offensive players.
Iran's only serious chance in second half was again denied by the Qatari goalkeeper in the 77th minute.
Iran stand in second position of the table with four points out of two games and better goal-difference than Qatar, who collected also four points, but out of three matches. South Korea, who cruised 3-0 past Lebanon in Seoul today, lead the standings. Lebanon and Uzbekistan have one point each.
Team Melli will need to show a more creative approach in their next World Cup qualifier in Lebanon on September 11, shortly after a friendly match against Syria in Tehran in late August.
Iran - Qatar 0-0
World Cup Qualifier, Tehran, Azadi Stadium, Attendance: 100,000
Iran: Rahmati - Mahini (55' Dejagah), Aghili, Hosseini, Pooladi - Teymourian, Nekounam, Karimi - Heydari, Ansarifard (91' M.Zare), Hajsafi (46' Khalatbari)
Iranian players booked: Karimi, Teymourian