World Cup 2002 - Asian Qualifiers


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World Cup 2002 - Asian qualifiers
Group A: Bahrain - Iran 3:1
1st half
-Iran with a lively start
-1:0 ('7) Abdullah Rahman, header after corner against a lethargic defence
-('10) Ali Daei sees the yellow card for a foul perharps out of frustration
-Iran are not only playing against 11 players but also against the noise which seems to come from somebody heating up the crowd via loudspeaker continously - this might put the guests nerve to a further test
-('19) Bahrain with a good opportunity but #19 Hussain Ali fires across the bar from about 16 meters
-('21) Iranian free kick from 18., miserably executed, not even a shot on goal
-('22) a second freekick from similar position, this time the home team keeper has to save
-('27) set plays bring an image of chaos to the Iranian penalty area
-('31) Bahrain: a dangerous Yusuf long range shot misses the goal only by a half meter
-('37) a rare big opportunity for Iran: a cross finds #11 Vahedi who volleys wide - the ball had been difficult to take
-('42) the inevitable huge Ali Daei header, sensationally saved by the Bahrain keeper
-('45) beautiful diagonal through ball (by #6 or #8) from right hand side on Hussain Ali who beats the keeper by a low shot from 10 meters - 2:0

halftime 2:0
Bahrain cutting spaces in midfield, defending concentrated, while Iran look vulnerable in defence, including set plays and uninspired in attack 

2nd half
-Iran have to hope for Bahrain not to be able to go the same pace and keep up the concentration for 90 minutes
-('55) Bahrain try to take the pace out of the game with several minutelong injury interruptions
-('58) the match becomes annoying as the next Bahrain player gets carried out with a cramp this time
-('60) Iran: Ali Daei hits the outside of the goalpost with a fine direct low shot after a pass in from the left hand side
-('63) Iran pressure but the Bahrain counter is dangerous when Talal Yusuf fires acrooss the bar
-Iran do not achieve to play out clearcut chances against Bahrain who look more like a team that is desperately fighting for an important goal than the guests
-('80) red card against Bahrain #3 (second yellow?)
-('82) goal for Iran: the keeper bravely saves a low shot after a fine combination, the ball is loose, and Ali Daei scores from close range - 2:1
-('82) An Iranian attempts to grab the ball out of the net to run with it to the kick off point a scuffle brakes out, the whole thing takes at least a minute and Iranian #9 seems to have been red carded (?)
-('86) Iran chance, across the bar
-late hectical attempts by the Iranians
-('injury time) Iranian #11 gets the red card when he either desperately or fruistrated tries to reach the ball and kicks the keeper who is much faster
-the match could have up to 8 minutes injury time after innumerous interruptions
-('injury time) a Bahrain counter makes the question obsolete: a 16 meter bouncing shot beats the Iranian keeper who looks odd here - 3:1

final score 3:1
Bahrain players carry their own and Saudi flags through the stadium. Iran have disappointed as they have not been convincing the entire campaign. Only this match they did not have the luck they had before.


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