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Hasemian scores 2 in WCQualifying

RaulMadrid72010-05-09 23:28:11 +0000 #1
Iran 2 Japan 1 (HT: 1-0)

2006 FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers - Group B

Azadi Stadium, Tehran

TEHRAN - Bayern Munich striker Vahid Hashemian grabbed both goals as Iran beat Asian Cup winners Japan 2-1 on Friday to boost their chances of qualifying for the 2006 World Cup.

The victory put Iran level at the top of Group B on four points with Bahrain who beat DPR Korea by the same scoreline earlier on Friday in Pyongyang.

Japan are a point behind the new pacesetters.

Hashemian blasted home the opening goal with a right-foot strike in the 25th minute and then headed in the winner 15 minutes from time, after Takashi Fukunishi had levelled the score for Japan on 66 minutes.

Iran were good value for the win with their Bundesliga contingent in top form.

Hashemian took his goals superbly well and wing-back Mehdi Mahdavakia, who plays for Hamburg, had an outstanding game with his foraging runs and penetrating crosses from the right providing a constant threat to the Japan defence.

Japan upped the tempo after a lacklustre first half and looked like taking a share of the points but the defence was posted missing for Hashemian's second goal.

Japan coach Zico gave two-time Asian Player of the Year Hidetoshi Nakata his first start in just under a year and the Fiorentina star was joined in midfield by Shinji Ono of Feyenoord.

Iran fielded the side which started in the 0-0 draw with Bahrain in their first match of final qualifying with Ali Daei, the all-time leading scorer in international football with 104 goals, paired with Hashemian up front.

After a cagey start, Japan had the first real chance of the match in the 11th minute. Nakata set clear Keiji Tamada with a well-angled pass but the striker scuffed his shot straight at Iran goalkeeper Ebrahim Mirzapour.

Iran, roared on by a capacity crowd at the Azadi Stadium, started to take control of the match and Ferydoon Zandi had a long range effort stopped by Japan goalkeeper Seigo Narazaki in the 18th minute.

Mahdavikia was in the thick of the action during a torrid four-minute spell. In the 20th minute he burst between two defenders and unleashed a fierce drive which was well stopped by Narazaki.

Two minutes later the right-sided wing back was yellow carded for diving inside the penalty box after a challenge from Tsuneyasu Miyamoto.

With Iran dominating affairs, Mahdavikia was involved in the opening goal in the 25th minute. He whipped in a free kick from the middle of the park which ricocheted kindly for Hashemian who fired an unstoppable shot into the net.

Japan hit back and Ono saw his swerving shot from outside of the box go just wide and Nakata hit the side netting with a neat flick from a corner.

Iran suffered a blow just before half-time when the talismanic Daei was forced to go off injured. He was replaced by Moharram Navidkia, who also plays in the Bundesliga for Bochum.

With the last kick of the first half, the impressive Mahdavikia hammered a shot just wide.

Japan made a bright start to the second half and a free kick from Shunsuke Nakamura in the 51st minute brought a good save from Mirzapour.

They continued to press and scored the equaliser in the 66th minute. Substitute Atsushi Yanagisawa challenged for a Nakata cross and the ball fell kindly for Fukunishi who found the net with a left-foot strike.

Iran responded by powering into attack and snatched the winner in the 75th minute. Ali Karimi whipped in a left-footed cross and Hashemian rose unchallenged to head past Narazaki.

Iran travel to Pyongyang for their next qualifying match against DPR Korea on Wednesday while Japan return home to host Bahrain in Saitama on the same day.


nachi882010-05-09 23:39:52 +0000 #2
why is this post here????

anyways, cngrats on your victory

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