TEHRAN, IRAN: Visitors Qatar on Tuesday hung on for a goalless draw
against hosts Iran in their 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier at Azad
With home side showing desperation for a goal on own soil, Qatar
survived a series of attacks in the last 10 minutes to walk off with a
point in the Asian Zone, Group A clash.
Qatar and Iran have 4 fours points. However, Iran have played two
matches compared to Qatar's three.
Tuesday's draw was welcome relief for Paulo Autuori's side which was
thrashed 4-1 by Korea on Friday.
In the 6th minute, Qatar striker Khalfan Ibrahim slipped past two
defenders inside the Iran box and passed the ball to teammate Younes
Rahmati who chipped the shot to midfielder Fabio Cesar.
Cesar, the long-haired naturalized Qatari, completely misfired,
allowing the ball to be taken away by a home defender in what was a
wasted opportunity to score for the visitors.
In the 13th miniute, Iran's Ali Kraimi missed the target off a header
from close range following a neat pass from the flank.
Twelve minutes from end of the first-half, Qatar's Marcone produced a
snap-header but his deflection off a corner kick was punched away by
Iran goalkeeper Seyed Rahmati.
In the 38th minute, Iran's Karim Ansari back-peddled on a lob pass but
his blind header was smartly pouched by Qatar goalkeeper Qassim
Watched by a near-capacity crowd of almost 100,000 at Azad Stadium,
Iran looked sharper than their rivals, who at times clearly lacked
coordination due to fatigue.
In the second half, Qatar players looked lethargic but the home team
felt the pressure of a goalless first hour.
The home team came close to scoring on two occasions but each time
tall goalkeeper Burhan stepped out with diving efforts, a far cry from
his subdued show against Korea on Friday.
In the 64th minute, Ibrahim scrambled past two Iran defenders but his
shot from close range hit the side of the next.
In the next few minutes, Iran won a succession of corners and
free-kicks but their delivery remained sub-standard.
Carlos Queiroz's side showed dominance, but Qatar defended with heart
In the last six minutes of regulation time, Qatar's Burhan and Cesar
and Iran's Andranik Timotian and Karimi are booked by Australian
referee Peter Green for various infringements as tempers flared up
between the two sides.