FIRST HALF -
Thanks to one of the most horrendous arrangements I’ve ever seen since … for-freaking-ever, we surrendered the half to the half-arsed uzbeks and gave them so many chances … ONLY BECOZ WE SHOWED SO INCAPABLE OF DOING THE MOST RUDIMENTARY THINGS IN FOOTBALL!!!
A team with NO STRIKER? No wonder the uzbek defenders freely came forward and added to their numbers in midfield and applied pressure on our midfield which from the beginning was handicapped (jabbari? Really? In the form he is in these days? My neighbors’ grandmother would have had more touches on the ball than this chap) Jabbari, who was supposed to take care of the right side was invisible and that meant more pressure piled on Mahini, who was faltering as he was facing TWO uzbek attackers at all times and he just came short almost in majority of occasions!
Why CQ persisted with jabbari for more than the first 20 minutes is a freaking WONDER. Neither Ebrahimi was helping anyone on the right side. And rightfully he was subbed … albeit late.
Surrendering our strong side (right) to the uzbeks meant they will come forward in numbers and pile on the box. Nekounam’s invisibility to track his midfield marks also meant they would get plenty of help from center for headers and … !
Putting 2 lefties on the left really tilted the weight of the team to our left side with Nouri and Hajsafi all going up and down and doing their job.
Basically, at best, we had a 9 man team facing an 11 man uzbek team. No striker, a weak midfield (poor selection) obviously helped the uzbeks to attack us. Imagine here we were saying we shd thrash the uzbeks! Not knowing how shit scared CQ was that he actually didn’t dare put a single forward in his team and instead of going for form, he went ahead with “names” and put an out of form jabbari in. a player that even ss fans accept is out of form and doesn’t deserve to start a game!!!
And thanks to a couple of great saves from Rahmati (shades of his old self) we go in to dressing room as equals. But his reflexes were not under doubt as much as his exits and reactions to crosses. And there were a couple of crosses he didn’t do well and merely punched the ball which fell INSIDE our box !!!! But his saves more than make up for all this
SECOND HALF -
It took our “brave” coach 65 minutes to bring our first forward! And still that idiot Jabbari is strolling about the park (most probably tokhmeh mishkast!) the bloody f**k had absolutely no impact on the game or even the ball! Why was he kept in for more than 72 minutes? Our midfield was our biggest weakness becoz of him mainly as our left side was so vulnerable. And then Nekounam also barely had any impact on the game except his shot and maybe a couple of other moments.
This weak uzbek team was there to be owned. But instead, we got tossed around like a rag doll !!! becoz we allowed it to happen!
UZBEK GOAL : That uzbek ball also did cross the line and by all fairness this shd have been a draw. But hey, I’m not complaining here. However this will not dissuade me from expressing my disappointment in CQ’s horrible, terrible starting line up and how he stood by and watched our midfield (traditionally our strongest line) get owned due to non-show by the likes of Jabbari and even Karimi.
Our team resembled a team only after Ansarifard was brought in to at least put some pressure on the uzbeki defense. Which is only for 15 minutes.
IRAN’S GOAL: Our goal was a magnificent piece of passing between Ansarifard and Khalatbari’s presence in the right place. But lets not forget Ando’s great contribution in winning the ball for us. Ando was the ONLY midfielder who actually played for us. The others like Jabbari, Nekounam, Karimi were big disappointments.
Bottomline: I know we scared a fantastic goal near the end. But the way we approached and then played this game shows we didn’t deserve the 3 points. With a more sensible starting line up (with at least one if not two proper forwards) we could have won this game far more easily and without controversy.
The Uzbek team WAS weak (shown in their loose passing, weak marking and very amateurish style) and this was exposed in the first 10-15 minutes of the game. But becoz we didn’t have the means to catch the game by its scruff and kill it off, they got encouraged and became bolder. And the more we screwed up by our WEAK MIDFIELD & NON-EXISTENT FORWARD LINE, the more bold and adventurous they got. It’s but natural.
I sincerely am scared. If CQ approaches such a weak opponent with such overtly cautious line up and until the last 15 minutes of the game persists with very shoddy midfield and work rate by players, then I shudder to think how he will act against a top form south Korean team! Or the very same uzbek team WITH all their main players back!
CQ has a lot to think about and change.