Defending champs Iran held to goalless draw

7 Oct 2009 - The defending champions Iran were stunned by Tajikistan on Wednesday as they were held to a goalless draw in the ongoing AFC U-16 group ´B´ qualifiers being held at the Dasharath Stadium.

With this draw Tajikistan climbed atop the points table with four points from two matches played while Iran is in fourth spot with one points after their first match.

Iran, seen as the strong team for the title challenge, kept its cool but failed to score in the match that was greeted by occasion showers. The Iranian attack ended either in the goal post or the box as the spectacular display from the Tajik custodian Shamsov Bahidur prevented goals on several occasions and the stubborn defending line-up remained another obstacle on the way of title holders.

Iran made about half dozens of attacks in the first half while Tajik came up with only one remarkable attack. The same scenario prevailed in the second half. Iran which dominated the ball possession made about five powerful attempts but to no avail. While Tajik made an attempt, he was denied from scoring from the Iranian glovesman M Khan Alizaed.

Tajik custodian Shamsov prevented an early free-kick in the 12th minute by A Naserinejad and one minute later H Ghasemi´s shot went wide. In 43rd and 45th minute Shamsova made spectacular saves. Iran´s attacks suffered the same fate in the second half.

Iran coach Mohammadi Argi Akbar satisfied with the team´s performance said, “It was an unlucky day for the team. We got lot of opportunities but failed to utilized them,” adding, “We have three more matches in our hand and will try to perform better next time.” Tajik coach Babaev Zoir who said he was not satisfied with the team´s performance said, “The team could have played better and we played with probably the best team of the qualifiers.”

Rare blunder

The match between Tajikistan and Iran saw rare mistakes in the international level football arena.

A Tajik player Sultonov Tolibjon who was in the list of substitutes, played the match from beginning without being noticed by the referee and assistant referees and fourth official for about 30 minutes. Later after learning that he was not in the regular 11 list Jordan referee Suleiman Salameh Dalgham Jaber showed him the yellow card and was sent off the ground. He was than substituted by the regular player in playing 11 set-- Zagurov Anushervon. Again, few minutes after the interval Sultonov replaced Zagurov.

According to the universal law of football, a player substituted once cannot play again in the same match. But, the same player similar of being substituted entered the ground twice. When asked about this to the Tajik coach, he said that it was a mistake of their team manager.

However, fourth official Al Labani Khalaf Mohammed Abdullah of Yemen and match commissioner Mindu Dorji of Bhutan deployed by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) failed in their jobs of checking the concerned players before permitting them to play in the ground.

When asked to know about the incident with the AFC officials, the organizer ANFA office holders said that the AFC officials will not talk about the incident with other than AFC.


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