Persianfootball.com – ABU DHABI, Iran downed Oman 2-0 thanks to goals from Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Ashkan Dejagah and next will face China in the quarter finals.
After a shaky start with an early shock, Iran recovered quickly and outclassed Oman in every aspect of the game, in the end deservingly won a game in which they could and should have scored two or three more goals.
Referee in center of attetion
Carlos Queiroz changed the team on four position in comparison to the Iraq game, but certainly had imagined a different start than Oman breaking through Iran’s defense in the first minute as Majid Hosseini virtually had two blackouts within a few seconds, first letting Mohsin Al Ghassani easily chase down a dead ball and then tripping him on a soft but clumsy challenge.
The referee didn’t hesitate a second to point to the penalty spot but only showed the yellow card to the lucky Trabzonspor defender.
Captain Ahmad Al Majary stepped up, but his well taken penalty kick was superbly saved by Alireza Beiranvand, who kept Iran’s fourth consecutive clean sheet in the tournament.
Iran came back strong and started to dictate the pace of the game, creating a handful of dangerous opportunities before finally breaking the deadlock.
Hosseini again was involved, as his long ball forward this time was given away too easily against Alireza Jahanbakhsh who made no mistake and made it 1-0 from close range.
Iran continued to have the upper hand and after a clear foul on Dejagah inside the box had not been called, a hard but seemingly legal challenge on Mehdi Taremi resulted in a penalty kick, which Dejagah converted with ease.
Iran’s defense meanwhile held tight, also the 22-year-old Hosseini remained cool as a rock after his early blunder, and the only chance Oman found before the halftime break was a thunderous shot from very far out, which again was very well saved by the flawless Beiranvand.
Souvereign Iran in second half
The game remained fully under control of the Iranians, who flawlessly combined for much of the second half and only allowed Oman one misplaced header in the box.
On the other side, Sardar Azmoun and Taremi had numerous excellent scoring opportunities, but were denied by late flying tackles, the goalkeeper or their own lack of precision.
So the biggest highlights were the unnecessary yellow card foul from Vahid Amiri, who will miss the China match due to suspension and the substitution of veteran playmaker Masoud Shojaei. The captain got a few unspectacular minutes, but got playing time in his fourth Asian Cup, although he hadn’t played a minute in 2007.
Shojaei’s presence also marked the appearance of the 20th and final Iranian outfield player in the fourth match of the tournament.
Iran will still need to show an improved performance if they want to get past a solid Chinese side in quarter finals on Thursday. Marcelo Lippi’s men were able to turn the tides late against Thailand today, and qualify thanks to a 2-1 win.
Iran – Oman 2-0 (2-0)
Asian Cup 2019, round of 16, Abu Dhabi
1-0 Alireza Jahanbakhsh (32′)
2-0 Ashkan Dejagah (41′ / penalty / foul on Mehdi Taremi)
Iran’s lineup: Beiranvand – Rezaeian, Pouraliganji, Hosseini, Mohammadi – Ebrahimi – Dejagah (78′ Ghoddos), Amiri – Jahanbakhsh (69′ Cheshmi), Taremi – Azmoun (88′ Shojaei)
Iranian players booked: Majid Hosseini (foul), Vahid Amiri (foul / suspended for next match)