Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Iran v Indonesia Under 23

Written by Martin Reza Babry
Tuesday, 26 May 2009
PFDC - TEHRAN, Team Melli thrashed Indonesia 5-0 in a test match in Azadi stadium, who due to their league schedule had sent their Olympic squad to Iran's capital.

Ferydoon Zandi scored a brace, while Khalatbari and Borhani each scored one and assisted another. Iran had taken the lead thanks to an owngoal.

The Lineup

Afshin Ghotbi had to do without the four legionnaires from Germany and Spain, the Persepolis Tehran players who will play in the AFC Champions League and also decided not to use any of the UAE leagionnaires, who had just joined Team Melli's training camp two days ago.

The coach opted for a 4-2-3-1 and a mixture of old and new ideas.Unsuprisingly Mehdi Rahmati started in goal, while, like under Ali Daei, Jalal Hosseini and Hadi Aghili built the central defense of the fourback. However, the two centerhalves switched position compared to Daei's spell, Hosseini playing as left and Aghili as right centerback.

Hossein Kaebi, Iran's captain today, played in his usual rightback position, however, in absence of Sattar Zare and the injured Hassan Ashjari, decidided to put leftwinger Ehsan Hajsafi as leftback.

The 19-year-old Sepahan Esfahan man interpreted the position extremely offensively, often looking more like a side midfielder than like a defender. Since two possible leftback options, Pejman Nouri and Alireza Mohammad were unavaible for this game due to their club duties, it will be interesting to see if this was just an experiment or if Hajsafi will be used in this position again in future.

Mes Kerman's Farzad Ashoubi filled the most defensive central position in midfield, while Hossein Kazemi played slightly ahead of him to his right. Khosro Heydari and Ferydoon Zandi were the twio wingers and Andranik Teymourian found himself in an unusual central offensive midfield role.

IPL topscorer Arash Borhani started as lone forward.At the beginning of second half Mohammad Reza Khalatbari came on for Kazemi. While Teymourian filled Kazemi's more defensive midfield spot from then on, Khalatbari overtook Zandi's leftwing position and the Alik Larnaca man now played in central offensive midfield.

Also at halftime, Vahid Talebloo and debutant Farshid Talebi replaced Rahmati and Hosseini while Mohsen Bengar came on as final sub for Aghili in minute 70.

The Game

Iran dominated from the start, but lacked creativity upfront in first half. Ghotbi's men mostly relied on crosses and passes from the left and the stronger right side, where Kaebi and Heydari combined well.

Team Melli took the lead after such a scene thanks to an owngoal, when a defender headed the ball over the own goalkeeper and into the net, after Heydari had crossed the ball towards Borhani from the right side after 20 minutes.

Apart from some half-chances after such crosses, the homside also created danger by a few shots from outside the box, which could be stopped by the goalkeeper or went narrowly wide. Especially Zandi's efforts (38' / 39') looked dangerous and were only inches wide.

Striker Arash Borhani had two good opportunities to add his name to the scoresheet in first half as well. After 14 minutes he failed to unleash a good shot after a great serving from Hajsafi. The goalkeeper couldn't hold on to the ball, but Teymourian's shot also could be denied. Two minutes before halftime, Borhani found himself alone in front of the goalkeeper, but hesitated to take a shot and therefore wasted the chance.

A great Teymourian pass found substitute winger Khalatbari in the box just four minutes into second half, and the Zob Ahan man was unlucky when his great leftfooted shot beat the keeper, but not the crossbar.

Another four minutes later Borhani should have scored when Teymourian's shot from outside became the perfect serving for Borhani, who, also seemingly surprised not to be offside, failed to get his shot from close range on target.

But just a minute afterwards, Iran doubled the lead, thanks to Zandi, who, after a good quick combination over Khalatbari and Borhani, dribbled past a defender and scored with a good rightfooted shot.

Finally Borhani got his goal when he beat the offside and got to the end of a chipped pass from Khalatbari in minute 67, and finished off with a well placed shot.

A few minutes later it was Khalatbari's turn to increase the lead, when he vollied a Heydari cross into the net.The sizzling Zob Ahan man indeed improved Iran's offensive display in second half.

Ten minutes from time Borhani might have scored his second of the day, but his header to a Kaebi cross flew over the bar.Teymourian wasn't more fortunate eight minutes later, when his header could be saved, but Zandi managed to score his second goal of the day thanks to two blunders by Indonesia just moments later.

The goalkeeper failed to catch Zandi's all but hard shot after a bad clearance had set him up in promising shooting distance.Borhani wasted a final chance, when his embarassingly mishit shot from near the penalty spot was way off target.

Iran - Indonesia U23 5-0 (1-0)Friendly match, Tehran, Azadi stadium
Goals:1-0 Owngoal, 2-0 Ferydoon Zandi (54' / Assist by Arash Borhani), 3-0 Arash Borhani (67' / Mohammad Reza Khalatbari), 4-0 Mohammad Reza Khalatbari (72' / Khosro Heydari), 5-0 Ferydoon Zandi (89')

Iran: Rahmati (46' Talebloo) - Kaebi, Aghili (70' Bengar), Hosseini (46' Talebi), Hajsafi - Kazemi (46' Khalatbari), Ashoubi - Heydari, Teymourian, Zandi - Borhani

COMMENT - of course this article comes from a Persian Football website. I haven't found anything by the Indonesians yet!

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