1994 World Cup Qualifying Campaign

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    1994 World Cup Qualifying Campaign



    Meet your Persian Love Today
    What a horrible campaign which was the beginning of the end for Parvin. I have plenty of pics from the ECO Cup but I'm too lazy to scan them.

    *******************

    Following the Asian Championship failure and suspension of five players, in spring of 1993 Parvin began rebuilding a team to compete in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. For the initial camp there were some familiar invitees such as Abedzadeh, Zarrincheh, Fonoonizadeh, Abtahi, Marfavi and Modirroosta, while some players would make their name in years to come (Golmohammadi, Bagheri and Daei). Other than the suspended players, Eftekhari and Ghayeghran was also absent from the camp. In the first round of qualification Iran was grouped with Myanmar, Oman, Syria and Taiwan although Myanmar would withdraw prior to the games kicking off. The first leg of the games would be in Tehran (for all teams) with the return matches in Syria.





    Iran’s preparation included a 20-day camp in Germany, in which the national team defeated Bayern Munich 1-0 with Daei scoring the lone goal. A friendly with Belgium’s Mechelen was cancelled although just weeks before the start of the qualifiers Iran hosted the ECO Cup featuring Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. While these games would provide Iran with four preparation matches and a championship, however, the low level of opposition would hardly provide a clear picture of the strengths and weaknesses of the national team.

    Iran started its campaign against Oman by fielding an unfamiliar and new lineup and formation 3-5-2). Iran seemed to be suffering from poor physical conditioning while Oman, lead by former Iran coach Mohajerani, created more chances than their hosts. Daei would rattle the goalpost late in the game but overall Iran seemed toothless in the final third. The teams would settle for a scoreless tie. Iran reverted back to the more accustomed 4-4-2 formation against Taiwan which, combined with the overall weaknesses of the opponent, lead to six unanswered goals. Goals would come from Estili and Daei while Modirroosta would bag four goals. Abedzadeh would last a mere 13 minutes before an awkward challenge necessitated his substitution and absence for the rest of the qualifiers as Gholampour would take his spot.



    In the final match against the mail rival Syria, Iran would take the lead with Modirroosta’s strike but only for Syria to score a late equalizer and tie the game.



    At the halfway point of qualification, Iran, Syria and Oman were all tied on points with Iran holding the edge on goal difference.

    Iran started the returned legs by defeating Oman 1-0 courtesy of a Derakhshan goal.



    Iran would repeat its 6-0 win against Taiwan with goals by Daei (2), Derakhshan, Namjoo Motlagh, Abtahi and Estili. With Syria still trailing Iran on goal difference, only a Syrian win would eliminate Iran. In the final game against the Syrian hosts, Iran would take an early lead with Derakhshan’s headed goal. Iran’s defense would hold steady until the final minute where a Syrian penalty would tie the game.



    Iran and Syria would both finish with nine points although Iran would advance thanks to its superior goal difference.

    In the final round of qualification, Iran would face Iraq, Japan, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and South Korea in a round robin group on neutral ground with the top two teams qualifying for the World Cup. Iran prepared with a 3-1 victory over a Bosnian selection before arriving in Doha for the matches. With Abedzadeh still recovering from injuries, Gholampour was Iran’s starting goalkeeper. Unlike the previous round where Gholampour shined brightly in goal for Iran, many of his personal errors contributed to a disastrous campaign.



    The first opponent would be South Korea, familiar foes who were eager to avenge their loss in the Asian Games. Early in the game South Korea launched a corner kick into Iran’s box. Gholampour came off of his line and made a partial clearance back in the box and in front of his now open net and the Koreans had no problem slotting the rebound into the empty goal. Iran tried to get back in the game but faced an impenetrable Korean defense. Late in the game, a lob from midfield was launched forward and eventually to the right flank. On the subsequent cross, Gholampour grabbed the ball but ended up dropping it in front of the Korean player in front of him who promptly scored an easy second goal. The rout was complete when a through-ball found a Korean player on the left who took the ball to just about the end line and from a tight angle shot the ball in between Gholampour and the near post. The game would end 3-0.




    The next game against Japan, the reigning Asian champions, would take on extra importance as losing would make qualification nearly impossible. The game seemed like it would be scoreless at the half until a freekick from the right flank was perfectly placed in the opposite corner by Hasanzadeh’s header. Late in the game some brilliant individual moves by Derakhshan freed Daei for an undisturbed run on goal. The Japanese keeper exited his box to challenge him although Daei dribbled around him to score and double Iran’s lead. With only minutes remaining Japan attacked from the left side. A Japanese player managed to stop the ball on the endline before it went out and from there, and with no angle at all, kicked the ball towards Iran’s goal which somehow slipped in between Gholampour and the near post. Iran would hold on to win 2-1.





    The next game would be against Iraq. Iraq would strike first after a through-ball and precise finish. The lead would only last a mere minute after a miskicked clearance landed on Daei’s head in the box which he hammered past the keeper. Iraq would once again go ahead before the half courtesy of some pinpoint passing and one-time finishing. Zarrincheh would be expelled shortly after the goal while three other Iranian players would receive a yellow card. The game would end 2-1 for Iraq.







    Iran would next face a North Korean side that had lost its prior two games. Anything short of a win would seriously jeopardize Ira’s chances for advancement. Iran would start in horrendous fashion as an attack from the Koreans landed on the feet of their player just outside the six-yard box who struck it in an unbalanced fashion and yet the soft strike bounced passed four defenders and Gholampour to give North Korea the lead. Iran would storm back in the second half with Daei equalizing on a header to the opposite corner. Daei would score the game winner on another header from close range to give Iran a 2-1 win.



    In spite of the loss Iran, and three out of the other four teams, still had a mathematical chance of qualifying. A win against Saudi Arabia in the final game, coupled with a South Korean loss against its northern neighbors would see Iran through. Saudi Arabia would take the lead following a cross, perfectly timed run in the box and lobbing of an onrushing Gholampour. The Saudies would double their lead following a defensive mixup in which the ball was gifted to the opponents just outside the box where they doubled their lead with a thunderous shot. Iran would pull one back before the half after Derakhshan fed a freekick to Fonoonizadeh who scored from long range. Early in the second half Saudi Arabia would restore their two-goal lead after a series of mistimed tackles by three Iranian defenders. Fonoonizadeh would score again from a long range shot from outside the box, this time from open play. Another mistake from Gholampour would gift the Saudies with their fourth goal as, after seemingly catching a corner kick, he dropped the ball, right onto an opponent’s head who headed into the empty net. With the last kick of the game, Manafi would score with a shot from the edge of the box to minimize the deficit. Iran would lose the game 4-3 and not qualify for the World Cup.



    Failure to qualify for the World Cup, combined with the poor 1992 Asian Championship campaign, cost Parvin his job and following the team’s return he was fired from his post as national team coach. Parvin would later blame the players’ reluctance and refusal to take part in physical conditioning as the reason for the poor results.
    I went to Sharif University. I'm a superior genetic mutation, an improvement on the existing mediocre stock.
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    Thank you for this read. The earliest I started to follow Iran was the 98 World Cup qualifying campaign so I find this really interesting.

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    It's important that we are able to recall our history, honor those who donned the uniform, learn from our mistakes and enrich our tradition as a footballing power in Asia, and hopefully one day across the globe. Thanks for this post, very informative and a good read.

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    The 1994 qualification campaign was so anti-climactic and amateur. 1990 was even worse.
    People have no idea how much football has changed since then.

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    The first football match that I remember watching was the 4-3 loss to Saudi Arabia

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    I remember watching these games and cursing the TV very well. A horrible horrible campaign..
    BOYCOTT NIKE

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    This was the first pay per view experience for Iranians in SoCal.
    We got to watch all the matches for Iran with Manook commentary.
    And as a bonus the cable company showed porn before each match LOL!!!!
    I still have the tapes.

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    Interesting to note KSA's successful world cup campaign in 94 as well
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    What was Irans very first campaign?
    What Year?

    THANK YOU KING QUIEROZ

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    Quote Originally Posted by persiangodfather View Post
    What was Irans very first campaign?
    What Year?
    1974 World Cup.
    I went to Sharif University. I'm a superior genetic mutation, an improvement on the existing mediocre stock.
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