The Carnival of Asian Football
The series of pulsating world cup qualifying “grand slim” edition, the best possible term for describing the increased level of competitiveness and prestigious dedicated by Fifa’s new cycle of international calendar program to extend qualifying matches across the five continent, certainly has reached its new popularity especially during the heated up season before Christmas. to say short the consecutives round of Asian continent really must be considered revolution for producing many inspirational performances on its own.
Iran vs South Korea: the arrival of Carlos Queiroz as the new coach of Iranian national team has manifested an extraordinary structural changes at the heart of “Asia’s traditional powers seemed on the verge of decline” in recent years. their world cup 2014 performance at least rejuvenated new pattern of reputation and optimism after nearly a decade of disappointment, the landscape proved very motivational to re-develop a much needed spirit and unity within their squad and also among their fans, but ultimately the Portuguese coach’s brilliant work in fact appeared to inject the new tactical identity and structural strength that looked very promising. their sharp defensive pressing approach and high tempo counter-attack set as their main strategy and they surely adapted to such style of play. the likes of Ashkan Dejagah, Andranik Teymourian and Sardar Azmoun highly offer a vital change of pace and delightful flair so crucial to their passing combination and quick opening run from the midfield in more balance when their back line that mostly formed by five static defenders to hold the pressing line with one versatile central holding force becoming the deeper passer when wining the opening forward pass, usually Alireza Jahanbakhsh covers that role with his timely winning challenges and positional sense in front of their backline, the experienced Teymourian can become their deeper man as he originally was excelled at that position with his agility, vision and energetic run in earlier years. the winner of Ozbekestan game and their reliable center-back Jalal Hosseini marshalling their organized and young back line as a great defensive side, the team look very confident to deny opponent’s attack realistically and with good options on the bench capable of integrating into Quiros different tactical plan and to the potential of their own, the mixed of young and experienced international squad are offering more ambitious collective gear rather than individual shows to deliver fine results, playing with imposed three midfield passers in attacking formation or compressing the midfield with five men against top quality sides and even the reverting to play with two central holding midfield in more pressing-attacking transition as we have seen against China or in the most of their qualifying matches seem to be a satisfactory task for Iran. they took the game to their fierce rival on the night with their quick break-away link up on the flanks to combine with their three attacker’s movements, their first chance; Hajsafi sent in a free-kick from left which allowed Alireza Jahanbakhsh to connect with the ball that went over the bar inside the fourth yard, but they score soon after. a short pass from deep led to a build-up when playing to Jahanbakhs and his quick turn-in pass was linked with Ramin Rezaeian fine overlap run out wide before full back cutting a short central pass for Azmoun to direct his neat left-footed touch into the lower near post to give them a deserved lead. Korean struggled to orchestrate fluid movements in attack with nearly no threat at all, in the second half, Hajsafi’s long thrown from left was headed over the bar by Saeid Ezatolahi five minutes before Dejagah corner once shortly cleared by defense allowed Jahanbakhsh off the edge of box to smash a powerful low range shot that was saved timely by Kim Seung-Gyu diving at his right, the visitor lacked real spark to control the pace of game and their attack largely was short of producing effective play we have seen in last year Asian Cup, neither Son Heung-Min or Han Kook-Young were able to provide slick passing interchanges and flair to break their opponent the entire night, looking stumble to supply Lee Chung-Yong up front as Crystal Palas striker rarely found the ball in the final third. the result surely reflected Iran’s purposeful strategy and eager game-plan and now they are leading the table in an almost comfortable fashion, South Korea meanwhile starting to fill the huge gap happened after the retirement of their legend Park from international stage and their attack lacks leadership and vision of his incredible class which seem a difficult one to be replaced in the recent time. their Premier league-based stars were disappointing in terms of offering enthusiastic effort to make transitions and perhaps their journey to book their world cup passage seem more challenging than ever as of now.