Tehran – After a comfortable 3-1 over Macedonia in Skopje last Thursday, Team Melli returned home and demolished visitors Kyrgyzstan in their last tune up before the final round of World Cup Qualifiers begin in September.
Iran took the lead in the 6th minute when Masoud Shojaei converted a penalty kick after a handball in the penalty area. Keeper Pavel Matiash guessed right but Shojaei’s penalty was too powerful and placed perfectly into the top corner.
Mehdi Taremi nearly doubled the lead seven minutes later but his header rattled off the post.
In the 24th minute, Taremi scored to extend Iran’s lead to 2-0. Taremi got his head on a Shojaei corner kick but it was saved initially by Matiash. The rebound went right back to Taremi as he chested the ball and headed it back into the net.
Four minutes later on a nice give and go between Mehdi Torabi and Mehdi Taremi, Torabi fired a low shot between the legs of Matiash to give Iran a three goal lead.
Head Coach of Kyrgyzstan Aleksandr Krestinin decided to make a change in goal by substituting Valery Kashuba for Pavel Matiash at the start of the second half.
Kashuba was kept busy in goal and finally got scored on in the 68th minute when a cross from Alireza Jahanbakhsh from right side found Karim Ansarifard in the six yard box. The Kyrgyzstani defense was in disarray as Ansarifard had enough time to trap the ball and easily put it past Kashuba to give Iran a 4-0 lead.
Iran dominated the entire match but were still hungry for more goals. In the 87th minute, second half substitute Sardar Azmoun perfectly volleyed in a cross from Alireza Jahanbakhsh to continue the rout. Azmoun has now scored fifteen goals in eighteen appearances for Team Melli.
Azmoun almost scored his second goal of the game three minutes later when his shot on a breakaway hit the post after being deflected by keeper Kashuba but Karim Ansarifard was in the right place at the right time to tap in the rebound and give Iran a 6-0 victory.
Starting Lineup for Iran: Haghighi (Akhbari) – D. Mahini, Hosseini (Shojaeian), Tayyebi, Mohammadi – Ezatolahi (Kamyabinia), Pourghaz – Shojaei (Dejagah), Taremi (Azmoun), Torabi (Jahanbakhsh) – Ansarifard