PFDC – TEHRAN, The Iranian football national team defeated the Lebanese rival 5-0 in the Asian Cup 2015 qualifier at the Tehran Azadi Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.
From the beginning of the match, Iran was the predominant team on the pitch and not surprisingly took the lead in the 26th minute. A terrifically playing CA Osasuna midfielder Masoud Shojaei (28) played the ball to Esteghlal midfielder Mojtaba Jabbari (29) who found Standard Liege striker Reza Ghoochannejhad (25) unmarked in the penalty box. The 25-year-old striker easily scored his first-ever goal in Team Melli’s jersey.
Fulham midfielder Ashkan Dejagah, who also showed an impressive performance today, could have increased the lead in the 45th minute. After he misled two Lebanese defenders, the former VfL Wolfsburg player missed the goal from close range.
But just before the half-time whistle, the 26-year-old winger was fouled by a Lebanese player in the penalty area and Esteghlal superstar Javad Nekounam (31) subsequently converted the penalty kick in first half stoppage time.
The second half started again in favour of the home side. Nekounam with his second penalty kick after Dejagah being laid again (59′) – a foul which saw Lebanon’s Mansour sent off with his second booking – and Ghoochannejhad from close range after a brilliant Dejagah assist (62′) made it crystal clear for the last sceptics that Iran was going to overrun a chanceless Lebanese side.
Nekounam completed a perfect day for the Iranians with his hattrick in the 79th minute to make it 5-0 for the home side. The Lebanese goalkeeper couldn’t save Nekounam’s deflected shot after a lovely pass by Shojaei.
Elsewhere in Group B, Thailand suffered a surprising 1-3 home defeat against Kuwait in Bangkok.
IRAN – Lebanon 5-0 (2-0)
Asian Cup 2015 qualifier, Tehran Azadi Stadium
1-0 Ghoochannejhad (26′/assist by Jabbari)
2-0 Nekounam (45+1′/penalty/foul on Dejagah)
3-0 Nekounam (59′/penalty/foul on Dejagah)
4-0 Ghoochannejhad (62′/Dejagah)
5-0 Nekounam (79′/Shojaei)
Suspension: Mansour (LEB / 58′)
Iranian players booked: Montazeri
IRAN: Ahmadi – Heydari, Montazeri (69′ Nosrati), Hosseini, Pouladi – Teymourian, Nekounam, Jabbari (72′ Yaghoub Karimi)- Dejagah (78′ Oladi), Ghoochannejhad, Shojaei
You can find the goals, all highlights and the full match on PFDC TV.