Persianfootball.com – DOHA, The world’s best defensive line in football kept a clean sheet again, as Iran defeated Qatar 1-0 in Doha in the final round of World Cup qualifying in Asia.
The win extends Iran’s lead in the group to second placed South Korea and third placed Uzbekistan, who both lost their games today – to four and five points respectively.
Iran had to do without influential playmaker Ashkan Dejagah and rightback Ramin Rezaian, who were replaced by Karim Ansarifard in a slightly unusual left-wing position and Vouria Ghafouri.
Qatar overtook the initiative from the beginning, but Team Melli, as often shown before, laid back and made it hard for the opposition to break through, while relying on the speedy attackers to launch quick attacks upfront.
However, due to many mistakes on both sides, only a few chances occured, the better ones for the visitors.
Not much changed for the second half, except that Iran launched the decisive attack of the game, seven minutes after the break.
Karim Ansarifard sent Mehdi Taremi through on goal with a wonderful chip over the defense and the Persepolis striker calmly finished with only the goalkeeper to beat.
Qatar increased their attacking efforts and exposed their defense, allowing Iran to create a handful of good scoring chances on counter attacks, but much to Carlos Queiroz’s enragement the excellent opportunities were wasted.
Besides a dangerous shot in injury time, the rough playing Qatar failed to create real danger and so Iran remain unbeaten in the final round of qualificatioin, in total extending their run of games without having conceded a goal to nine in a row.
On Tuesday, Iran will host China in the next World Cup qualifier in Tehran’s profilic Azadi stadium.
Qatar – Iran 0-1 (0-0)
AFC World Cup qualifying group A, Doha
Goal: 1-0 Mehdi Taremi (52′ / assist by Karim Ansarifard)
Iran’s lineup: Beiranvand – Ghafouri, Montazeri, Pouraliganji, Mohammadi – Ezatollahi, Hajsafi – Jahanbakhsh (77′ Ebrahimi), Taremi, Ansarifard (70′ Amiri) – Azmoun (80′ Shojaei)
Iranian players booked: Mehdi Taremi, Alireza Beiranvand