Blog: Disappointing draw for Team Melli [Video]

Entering the final qualifying match against Syria, all the talk was about Iran being able to maintain clean sheets in all ten matches for the final round of World Cup qualification.

Unfortunately we saw Iran fall behind early in the first half after a free kick Al-Soma was blocked by keeper Alireza Beiranvand but the rebound was tapped in.

In all honesty I believed it was a good thing for Iran to finally concede a goal because I wanted to see how they would respond.

And TM responded well indeed as Sardar Azmoun equalized right before the interval.

In the second half Iran continued to move the ball and were rewarded when Azmoun put Iran in front off another ball that was flicked on by Mehdi Taremi.

When it was 2-1, I was really hoping TM would hold on for the victory but it was unfortunate when a giveaway from right back Ramin Rezaeian eventually found Al-Soma, who scored the tying goal deep into stoppage time as both teams shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw.

The main concern now is the goalkeeping.

Many can argue that Beiranvand was not particularly impressive on the first goal because he wasn’t able to corral the ball and he wasn’t able to parry the ball out to safety.

Sometimes these things are easier said than done but I believe that Beiranvand could have done better. But fast forward to the second Syrian goal and by looking at the replay, one can see that Beiranvand did not have good positioning and he let the ball go through his legs and into the far corner.

Alireza Haghighi was between the posts for Iran in the 2014 World Cup and he played very well against Nigeria and Argentina.

Haghighi basically disappeared for a while but recently he has been playing well for AFC Eskilstuna in the top flight of Swedish football.

So who should be the number one keeper for Iran in the 2018 World Cup?

I am not confident in Beiranvand at the moment but I think Haghighi is the right choice as long as he is healthy and in good form.

In a practical and logistical sense, it is worth saying that Mehdi Rahmati of Esteghlal is the best choice but we all know that there is no way he will suit up again for Team Melli as long as Carlos Queiroz is leading the way for Iran.

From now until the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Carlos Queiroz must test out different keepers in friendly matches.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *