with world cup qualifying reaching its exciting stage across the globe for the Russia 2018 Asia has already confirmed one side to represent the continent next year. Iran became the first Asian side to book 2018 passage after cruising to a brilliant 2-0 win against their rival Uzbekistan at home on Monday night. as the leaders of group A Iranians were seeking to assure their second consecutive appearances in the final of globe’s most prestigious tournament and they perfectly achieved that mission in front of their home fans. they earned 20 points from eight rounds of the group edition and with the last two match days remaining for all the teams, the west Asian giants have deservedly stamped their ambitious race towards new continental’s pedigree, the claim that since last decade was seriously viewed to be on the verge of decline, but the steady effort of revolutionizing the structure of the nation’s football mentality and redeveloping an ultimately productive football strategy which all are fairly inspired by their notoriously genius coach Carlos Queiroz since he took charge after Asian cup 2011, Iran’s national soccer team has really enjoyed a rapid transition from their traditional affair into a superb contender in the modern era. two beautiful and decisive goals from team’s key attacking stars, Sardar Azmoon in the first half and Mehdi Taremi six minutes from the end have perfectly sealed their world cup place, spreading a full scene of ultimate delights and joy for all of their fans.
the host side have shown eagerness to attack with strings of set pieces and speedy wide play in reliance of wingers Reza Ghoochannejhad and vahid amir igniting crafty movements to combine with Sardar Azmoon as their sharp center forwards, first Jalaln Husseini fired his half right footed valley off the corner over the bar before captain Masoud Shojaie linking a through pass with Amir’s open run on the left but his attempted play was denied by defense, they scored the opener eventually. the persistence of midfield to win challenges near the pressing line exposed Uzbekistan’s effort of initiating short play from wide positions that caused gap and allowed Jahanbakhsh quickly turning a breakaway pass into open central space for Shojaie to slice a fine splitting pass when combined with Azmoon’s deep run and he calmly slotted his low range shot into the near post, scoring his fifth from last seven games for team melli in the qualifiers, an impressive tally that would surpass Iran’s previous strikers. Uzbekistan intensified their attempt to push high with consistent exchange of diagnol plays from wide to offer quicker mobility off the open run against Iran’s compact pressing with aim to link up the ball for Jaloliddin Masharipov and Igor Sergeev in the final third, but they lacked real edge and vital penetration, the latter tried his chance when being set up by Ofil Ahmedov energetic forward run on the left as he switched a cool ball for the striker before his powerful cross shot was swept pass everyone across the post. with the same intensity locked visitors in the midfield and Iranians dictating the transition of play to sustain their balance of interactive pressing and opening fine passing play high up the midfield when intended to keep visitors away from gaining possession it was hard to believe Queiroz’s men possibly dropping their organize gear under slim pressure. the second half witnessed an early penalty for the host that could definitely wrapping the contest when Taremi’s effort to win a long ball inside the Uzbekistan’s box saw him being pushed to the ground and the penalty spot was pointed it out. the experience Shojaie looked confident to net it but he smacked his shot over the bar that left the Portuguese coach in a bit disbelief before Azmoon bracing into a short rebound off the Uzbeck defense’s loose clearance after Shojaie’s attempted cross fallen to him, but he was unlucky to hit it wide, but the likely winner vanished all the nerves six minutes remain from the end. by sparking more tempo to ignite desirable pace for passing exchanges the striker partnership created the chance and finish it in a fluid fashion. after receiving a pass on the left Azmoon hooked it to his path nicely before his neat diverted pass was combined with Taremi’s bursting run as he shown a glimpse of technique to cut inside his marker before firing an accurate curling shot into the lower far post to confirmed their victory.
the tactical vision of Queiroz in building the team based on the sharpness and organization of defensive line for pressing order, being shielded with a versatile shape of holding-drifting midfield set up that is defined and constructed by the rotation of central passers and wing backs between the lines, in reliance of winning spaces with constant mobility of box-to-box distributors to monitor press and initiate open pass as we it often seemed in the recent years was held on the shoulder of Saeid Ezatolahi and Alireza Jahanbakhsh partnership or even when the experienced Teymoorian is being deployed into that combative central holding role that offers more flexibility to central passers drifting wide to cover wing backs when pushing high to combine with attacking trio, the interaction of the midfield to protect defense in shape of three or four players off the ball and transitioning to open passing effort when gaining possession has fully adapted to react in a reliable balance of a typically composed pressing strategy inspired by positional awareness, collective work ethics, consistent generating wide spaces and speedy build ups from midfield encourages strings of high tempo change of play to ignite sustainable passing combinations and speedy transitions to be carried out by their international-based strikers such Dejagah, Taremi and Azmoon. this team that hasn’t conceded a single goal would be a huge dark horse in the world cup next year.