Iran picked up a crucial and historic win over Wales at Ahmad Ali Stadium on matchday two of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
This is Iran’s first-ever victory over a European squad on the grand stage. Ultimately, it was a tremendous win for Team Melli, earning three points in Group B. More importantly, it keeps the side well in the hunt to reach the knockout stages.
Iran gains redemption
Rob Page’s high-risk 3-5-2 engaged with Carlos Queiroz’s flat 4-4-1-1. The Portuguese manager assigned Mehdi Taremi as ‘second-forward’, with Sardar Azmoun tasked as the ‘lone striker’.
The first half was even with box-to-box play until Iran unleashed a plethora of offensive playmaking.
Early doors, Iran displays their creativity first. Wales expected Iran to let loose, discharging shots. As a result, they hunkered down with an insufficient defense.
Inaccurate crosses from Sepahan defender Ramin Rezaeian revealed a constant theme of locating Azmoun amid aerial play. The Bayer Leverkusen striker has fresh legs on sprints as he fights through a strained calf muscle.
Then, a sharp cross from Connor Roberts to Bournemouth striker Kieffer Moore was saved instinctually by goalkeeper Hossein Hosseini from Esteghlal FC. In the 15th minute, an egregious horizontal pass by Roberts was turned over, leading to a ‘3 v 2’ triangle attack from Iran. However, Charleroi midfielder Ali Gholizadeh was caught offside.
To no avail, Wales penetrated Iran’s final third on dozens of entries. Despite that, Iran’s relentless counters caused threats, especially since Welsh defenders offered too much space for Iran’s midfield to maneuver during transitional ‘hold-up play.’
Iran finds a win over Wales
Iran did not hesitate to attack Wales’ goalmouth, saved by the post – twice. First, a sensational ‘through-ball’ from Captain Ehsan Hajsafi found Azmoun on a breakaway. However, his shot deflected off the near post. Then, a deflection ensued; a…
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Author : Ardalan Pourvali
Publish date : 2022-11-25 16:49:14
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