Syria holds Iran to 2-2 draw in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification match
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2017-09-06 06:54:47

Syria holds Iran to 2-2 draw in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification match

The Iranian men’s national team has been held to a draw against Syria but succeeded to remain top of its group in the third round of the 2018 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup qualification tournament.

On Tuesday evening, Team Melli started its Group A match at Tehran’s Azadi Stadium in a fine manner, and attacking 31-year-old professional footballer Ashkan Dejagah made an early attempt to run at the Syrian goal; however, the temptation to play the ball in haste forced him to give ball away.

In the fifth minute, Iranian professional footballer Sardar Azmoun, who plays as a forward for Russian side Rubin Kazan, found a tremendous scoring opportunity, but Syria’s goalkeeper Ibrahim Alma dashed the hosts’ glimmer of hope.

The Syrian side, nicknamed the Qasioun Eagles, got a marvelous chance to put the ball at the back of Iran’s net three minutes later. Iranian goalie Alireza Beiranvand managed to force a corner, and soiled the visitors’ chance though.

The Iranian players started to attack more sturdily, but they still had problem to penetrate through Syria’s penalty area.

It was in the 12th minute that Syria’s 27-year-old midfielder Tamer Haj Mohamad blemished Team Melli’s clean sheet record at the third round of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification tournament, and netted the opener.

The Iranians then moved forward and mounted a series of attacks on the visitors’ goal in search of a goal. But Persians could not get through Syria’s strong defensive line.

In the 40th minute, Iran’s Alireza Jahanbakhsh shot wide and the ball just went out.

It was just minutes before the end of the first half that Dejagah had the second opportunity to score. He missed it, though, as there were few Iranian teammates in the 18-yard box.

Dejagah took the corner in the 45th minute, and forward Mehdi Taremi unleashed a header. The ball hit the bar and rebounded hard. Azmoun did not hesitate to pick up the ball and score the late equalizer.

Four minutes into the injury time, the referee awarded a direct free kick to the Iranian team, which Dejagah struck and Alma deterred.

Iranian soccer players built up more pressure on their opponents’ goalpost after the break.

Ramin Rezaeian sent the ball to teammate Morteza Pouraliganji, which he simply kicked off target and the ball went out.

Azmoun scored a brace in the 64th minute to put the Iranian soccer team 2-1 ahead.

Finally, Syrian forward Omar al-Soma scored a last-gasp equalizer to win a vital point for his team and a place in the playoffs.

In another match of the day, South Korea advanced to their ninth consecutive FIFA World Cup following a scoreless draw against Uzbekistan.

Team Melli is the top-ranked soccer team in Group A of the final Asian qualifying round with 22 points from six wins and four draws.

South Korea bagged 15 points to claim the second position from four wins, three draws and three losses.

Third-placed Syria earned 13 points from three wins, four draws and three losses. Syria will have to await the result of the game between Saudi Arabia and Japan from Group B to find out who it would face in the playoff round.  

Uzbekistan, China and Qatar have landed in the fourth to sixth spots with 13, 12 and 7 points respectively.

Categories:   Sport ،
Tags:   Iran ، Syria ، FIFA ، World cup ، FIFA world cup ،
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