AFC ASIAN CUP

Qatar Sports Club Stadium

Referee: Kim Dong Jin | Attendance: 5012

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0 - 3

FT

Iran

  • Arash Afshin 70'
  • Mohammad Nori 83'
  • Walid Abbas 90' +3' OG

Abbas own goal seals Iran win

Iran maintained their unbeaten run at the Asian Cup with a convincing win over the United Arab Emirates, in a game that saw both sides reduced to 10 men.

• Ghotbi still has title target

Arash Afshin opened the scoring in the 70th minute before being sent off for a second bookable offence two minutes later.

Khalid Sebil was also dismissed soon after for the UAE before Iran then wrapped up the win with an 83rd-minute Mohammad Nori strike and a stoppage-time own goal from Walid Abbas.

Iran progress to the knockout stage as Group D winners and take on South Korea on Saturday in a battle for a place in the semi-finals.

With qualification already secured, Iran made a raft of changes and it was not surprising that it was the UAE who dominated the opening exchanges.

Subait Khater was the first to threaten for either side when he launched a shot from distance straight at Iran goalkeeper Shahab Gordon before Ahmad Khalil saw his low drive bounce back off the woodwork.

The Iranians were offering little in terms of attacking threat but finally mustered a chance just before the half-hour, when Nori sent a first-time shot just wide.

However, the UAE quickly regained control and finished the half strongly as Khalil fired a free-kick over the bar before Ismail Matar's 44th-minute effort was just off target.

There was once again a dearth of chances early in the second half and it was not until the 60th minute that a shot on target was registered with Ghasem Hadadifar's volley needing UAE keeper Majed Nasser to push away for a corner.

However, the stalemate was finally broken in the 70th minute with the goal going the way of the Iranians. Mohammad Gholami hit the woodwork twice in quick succession before Afshin was on hand to stab home the rebound.

But Afshin had little time to celebrate his strike as he was sent off for his second bookable offence two minutes later after going in strong on Nasser when attempting to challenge for the ball.

The UAE were also reduced to 10 men in the 79th minute when Khalid Sebil was shown a second yellow for taking the legs of Iran's Hadadifar.

Iran then dominated the closing stages and wrapped up the win as Nori scored in the 83rd minute and Abbas then put the ball in the back of his own net in stoppage time when attempting to deny Gholam Reza Rezaei.

  • Ghotbi still has title target

    Coach Afshin Ghotbi reiterated his belief that Iran will be crowned Asian Cup champions after watching his side maintain their 100% record at the tournament.

    "A lot of times coaches are facing a team from their country of birth, or we

    are seeing many, many times where a coach like myself comes up against a team

    who they worked with," said the 46-year-old. "But my feeling is that Iran must

    win. It is my job to win as head coach of Iran.

    "No matter who we play against or whatever selection we use, the Iranian

    players have enough quality individually to reach our goals.

    "I believe we can hold this trophy over our heads on January 29, regardless

    whether it is Korea, Japan, Uzbekistan or Iraq that we have to face. I have had

    this belief since day one."

    The UAE had gone into the game needing three points to have a chance of joining

    Iran in progressing to the last eight.

    Though they enjoyed plenty of possession they were once again unable to make

    the most of their chances, a problem that coach Srecko Katanec felt proved their

    undoing throughout the tournament.

    "Football is like this," he said. "In the first game we had a number of

    shots on goal, but didn't score, then in the second game we had 17 shots, hit

    the post and everything but didn't score.

    "Sometimes football can be really strange, but sometimes it is good because of

    this."

  • Scoring Summary

    • United Arab Emirates
    • Iran
     
    (70') Arash Afshin
    (83') Mohammad Nori
    (og 90 + 3') Walid Abbas

    Match Stats

    • United Arab Emirates
    • Iran
    0(0) Shots (on goal) 0(0)
    0 Fouls 0
    0 Corner kicks 0
    0 Offsides 0
    0% Time of Possession 0%
    1 Yellow Cards 3
    1 Red Cards 1
    0 Saves 0

    Teams

    • United Arab Emirates
    • Iran
    Substitutes
    Substitutions
    Yellow Cards
    Red Cards
    Arash Afshin (75')