May 27, 2024
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Fox Sports Asia – ABU DHABI, Vietnam were condemned to a 2-0 defeat to three-time champions Iran in Group D of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 at the Al Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Saturday. 

Sardar Azmoun was the two-goal hero finding the back of the net once in each of the halves to take Team Melli to the Round of the 16 of the continental championship. But Vietnam, who have now suffered back-to-back defeats, will need a lot of things to go their way if they are to join today’s opponents in the next round.

Here are some talking points from the 90 minutes of action in Abu Dhabi.

Dejagah and Taremi ask questions of Vietnam defence 

Ashkan Dejagah and Mehdi Taremi were the two undisputed stars in Iran’s 5-0 thrashing of Yemen in their opening match and the duo were once again at their menacing best against the Golden Dragons on Saturday. Dejagah and Taremi were a handful for the left-hand side of the Vietnamese defence, however,  Do Hung Dung and Doan Van Hau managed to negate some of the threat while captain Que Ngoc Hai was excellent putting his body on the line on more than once occasion.

Azmoun continues his resurgence 

A disaster of a 2018 FIFA World Cup and subsequent retirement from the game seem to be long in the past for Team Melli striker Sardar Azmoun now. It was the Rubin Kazan striker who scored the opener for Iran with a simple header at the far post in the 38th minute. And the 24-year-old has scored two from two now in the AFC Asian Cup 2019 and is a key man as Iran chase their fourth continental championship. It’s hard to believe this was the same man who retired from the game citing online abuse and bullying from fans last summer.