Archivi tag: soccer

Persepolis 0:0 Esteghlal: Faghani estinguishes Shahravard flames

No one scored in 83rd Shahravard, the Tehran derby, in week 6 of Persian Gulf Pro League 1395/96. Alireza Faghani was appointed as referee, thanks to his international experience: he refereed 2015 Asian Cup final and men’s Olympic football final at Rio 2016.  A victory could be vital for both teams, but for completely different reasons.
Persepolis wanted to strenghten their top leading after the last-week tie with Tractorsazi, the latter only two points under Branko Ivankovic’s club; instead, third-bottom Esteghlal searched for their first  win in this difficult season, and coach Ali Reza Mansourian knew that a defeat meant a goodbye.

No surprises in the start lining ups, except for Blues as Bakhtyar Rahmani was benched; Reds squad was without injured Vahid Amiri, while Ramin Rezaeian watched the game from the bench since he has come back recently following a short spell in Turkey.
Few hours before the match, it was reported a rumour from Persepolis players, who said that Esteghlal hired a wizard in order to win the Shahravard. Obviously on bleachers hooligans have started to provoke each other already previous the kick-off.
Special guest Carlos Queiroz, who watched the match with his technical staff of Iran Team Melli.

Persepolis had a good start, attacking immediately with Mosalman and Alipour, causing their opponents to foul: after only 12 minutes Omid Ebrahimi received a yellow card due to his foul on Ahmadzadeh. Six minutes later a dangerous right-footed shot by Mehdi Taremi was rejected by Mkoyan shoulder: the Aghaye Gol (top scorer) of the last season at 23′ threatened again his rivals and was fouled by Farshid Bagheri just outside of Esteghlal penalty area; the following free kick ended on Blues defenders. When Farshid Esmaeili fell down after a touch by Mosalman, Mansourian became angry, protesting beside the pitch. But again Taremi conquered a free kick, this time from 65 feet (20 metres): Omid Alishah direct shot found the opponents wall.
The mood difference of the two coaches was clear: Mansourian continuously calling his guys; Branko queitly watching the game.
With 5 minutes before half time, Vouria Ghafouri woke up and dribbled two Reds on the right of Persepolis penalty area, however there was no teammate to benefit from his pass; Esteghlal advanced one more time with Ebrahimi, tackled by Kamyabinia, but Faghani said to keep continuing to play.

In the opening of 2nd half Kaveh Rezaei scared Ghermez-ha fans, as he attempted twice to score in front of Beiranvand, since the goalkeeper has lost the ball after the first save. Esteghlal returned determined from the break, with Ghafouri and Khosro Heydari incursions on the right side, in order to cross for Rezaei: at 54′ S. Jalal Hosseini headed away, at 56′ Jaber Ansari did not succeed in a bicycle kick.
After one hour of game, Alishah found Taremi, whose header finished over the crossbar. A few later Mosalman passed a golden ball to the Bushehr-born forward, who shot from the right but Mehdi Rahmati deflected the ball. Branko replaced injured Mohammad Ansari with Oleksiy Polyanskyi, and the Reds attempted again to score by head (Ahmadzadeh) and left-foot (Alipour) with no accuracy.
On the other side, Farshid Bagheri crossed for Rezaei, who wasted another opportunity heading out on the left. With ten minutes remaining, Mansourian subbed in Ali Ghorbani instead of Jaber Ansari (under expectation performance): both teams became nervous seeking for the winning goal, and a smoke screen appeared from bleachers. Alishah was hit by a bottle lauched from hooligans, before he could kick from the corner, and was replaced by Nourollahi.
In the injury time Polyanskyi scored, burning Azadi stadium, but Faghani estinguished the flames because Ukrainan player was caught offside.


Persepolis Tehran FC

Persepolis (3-5-2)
1 Beiranvand; 4 S. J. Hosseini, 15 M. Ansari (69′ #22 Polyanskyi), 13 Mahini; 18 Rabi Khah, 11 Kamyabinia, 77 Mosalman, 10 Ahmadzadeh, 3 Alishah (90+1′ #8 Nourollahi); 70 Alipour (85′ #80 Pryyomov), 9 Taremi
Head coach Branko Ivankovic


Esteghlal Tehran FC

Esteghlal (3-4-3)
1 Rahmati; 33 M. Hosseini, 3 Robson, 15 Mkoyan; 21 Ghafouri, 6 Ebrahimi, 14 F. Bagheri, 88 Esmaeili (90+2′ #74 Haghdoust); 2 Heydari, 11 J. Ansari (81′ #17 A. Ghorbani), 9 K. Rezaei
Head coach Ali Reza Mansourian


Bookings: 12′ Ebrahimi (EST), 21′ Alipour (PER), 68′ F. Bagheri (EST), 77′ Kamal Kamyabinia, 88′ Heydari (EST)

Referee: Alireza Faghani

Carlos Queiroz calls-up for training camp in Italy

فارسی /FARSI (IRAN)
فارسی /FARSI (IRAN)

With one match of Persian Gulf Pro League week 4 – FC Mashhad v Foolad Khuzestan – not played yet, FFIRI-Football Federation of Iran official website published the list of call-ups for the training camp in Italy.


Carlos Queiroz, head coach of National football team of Iran, invited 25 players that will reach Italy on 13 August. The plan of the Italian camp with the friendly games is avalaible on this website (click here for details).
At the current time, the Portuguese coach chose to call only footballers that play in Iran or in Qatar, since the Qatar Stars League will start on 15 September. Most probably the Legionnaires (Iranian players in European professional leagues) will be added before the qualifiers against Qatar and China. Team Melli captain Andranik Teymourian is back after 5 months since he had a bad injury. Below you can read the full list.

Mohammadreza Akhbari (Tractorsazi Tabriz)
Alireza Beiranvand (Persepolis Tehran)
Rashid Mazaheri (Zob Ahan Esfahan)

Saeid Aghaei (Tractorsazi Tabriz)
Mohammad Ansari (Persepolis Tehran)
Vouria Ghafouri (Esteghlal Tehran)
S. Jalal Hosseini (Persepolis Tehran)
Pejman Montazeri (Al Ahli – QAT)
Morteza Pouraliganji (Al Sadd – QAT)
Ramin Rezaeian (free agent)
Mohammad Tayyebi (Esteghlal Khuzestan)

Vahid Amiri (Persepolis Tehran)
Omid Ebrahimi (Esteghlal Tehran)
Ehsan Hajsafi (Sepahan Esfahan)
Kamal Kamyabinia (Persepolis Tehran)
Ezatollah Pourghaz (Esteghlal Khuzestan)
Daryoush Shojaeian (Gostaresh Foolad Tabriz)
Andranik Teymourian (Mashinsazi Tabriz)

Ashkan Dejagah (Al Arabi – QAT)
Ehsan Pahlevan (Zob Ahan Esfahan)
Soroush Rafiei (Tractorsazi Tabriz)
Morteza Tabrizi (Zob Ahan Esfahan)
Mehdi Taremi (Persepolis Tehran)
Mehdi Torabi (Saipa Karaj)
Rahim Zahivi (Esteghlal Khuzestan)

Iran Pro League: a new season is going to start

The sixteenth Iranian football professional season will start at the end of July: few days ago Sazman League Football Iran (i.e. Iran Football League Organization) in Tehran announced fixtures about the first half of the season, that means 15 weeks. The complete calendar with dates of the matches has not yet been defined.

Iran Pro League first edition was 2001/2002 season, then in 2006 the league changed the name to Persian Gulf Cup, and in 2014 it was renamed Persian Gulf Pro League with a new logo.

Azadi Stadium - Tehran
By video

There are 16 teams: most of them are from the capital Tehran, but in this tournament there will be derbies in Tabriz, Esfahan, Mashhad, and Ahvaz.
Last edition was won by Esteghlal Khuzestan, who achieved their first title.


2016/2017 Participants

Team City
Esteghlal Khuzestan Ahvaz
Esteghlal Tehran
Foolad Khuzestan Ahvaz
Foolad Mobarakeh Sepahan Esfahan
Gostaresh Fooolad Tabriz
Mashinsazi Tabriz
Naft Tehran
Padideh Mashhad
Paykan Qods
Persepolis Tehran
Saba Qom
Saipa Karaj
Sanat Naft Abadan
Siahjamegan Mashhad
Tractorsazi Tabriz
Zob Ahan Esfahan

Week 1

Saba Qom – Sanat Naft Abadan
Siahjamegan Mashhad – Zob Ahan Esfahan
Foolad Khuzestan – Mashinsazi Tabriz
Tractorsazi Tabriz – Esteghlal Khuzestan
Esteghlal Tehran – Naft Tehran
Saipa Karaj – Persepolis Tehran
Gostaresh Foolad Tabriz – Paykan Qods
Foolad Sepahan Esfahan – Padideh Mashhad

Penalties, a lack of quality: Messi and CR7. Italy shoot-outs: USA 94 better than EURO 2016

Euro 2016 quarter finals, Germany defeated Italy 6-5 on penalties. Eighteen penalties performed, eleven scored: this is a warning about the lack of quality that has often been laid on shoot-outs. Don’t think it’s a joke, I’m serious: we live in the era of Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, both considered as the best professional players in the world, both missing important penalties while playing with their national teams. Someone could say that a club match count more than a national one; but I could tell him that FIFA World Cup or UEFA Euros are still more attractive all over the world, compared with continental champions leagues, for example: you can check on the web the news about billions $ in tv rights, million supporters in the streets after a victory.

Penalties, yes, that’s the point. What is the difference between the shoot-outs missed by Baresi, Massaro and Roberto Baggio in USA 94 final, and the epic fails by Zaza, Pellè, Bonucci and Darmian in Euro 2016 quarter final? Quality. And quality comes from fitness and seriousness.

USA 94
Franco Baresi, Daniele Massaro and Roberto Baggio played 120 minutes against Brazil – do you remember Romario, Dunga, Taffarel? – and their failures were due to cramps: especially Baresi, that came back against Brazil after recovering from a meniscus surgery in only twenty days. On the other side, Roberto Baggio was injured and Arrigo Sacchi should have replaced him during a so sensitive match. In USA 94 final Italy and Brazil performed nine penalties, missing three: the winner came out before the sudden death.

EURO 2016
Simone Zaza was subbed in at 119′, in time to kick once and beat Neuer from 12 yards (11 meters), with no need to take a shower: no, he started to dance in front of the German keeper and then sent the ball past the crossbar. Don’t try to forgive Graziano Pellè, because he has not yet learned that one goal scored is more valuable than his haircut; he made the same mistake like Montolivo in the previous Euro: out on the left, and don’t worry about the cameramen! Leonardo Bonucci could become the man of the match, after scoring the equalizer penalty at 78′, but this time his shot was saved; I can’t blame him, he played a strong game and took again the responsibility. Matteo Darmian came in the game at 86′ to replace cramped Florenzi, so he was fit and, after thirty-five minutes of warm-up, his penalty was saved and Hector scored the German winner.

We can find many games and players that can confirm: there is a problem in shoot-outs, players don’t take them seriously as was in the past. Compare today with yesterday: Maradona did never say goodbye for a missed penalty, as did Messi after Copa America Centenario…