Iran stun Germans 4-0
Margao: Asian giants Iran moved to top of Group C of the 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup with a 4-0 win over Germany at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, Goa on Tuesday.
Younes Delfi's (6' & 42') first half brace was helped by second half strikes by Allahyar Sayyad (49') and Vahid Namdari (75') to cut through German precision to book their place in the Round of 16 with a game in hand.
Four changes for Christian Wueck's side saw Dominic Becker, Noah Awuku, Sahverdi Cetin and Eric Majetschak replace Pascal Hackethal, Elias Abouchabaka, Nicolas Kuehn and Dennis Jastrzembski, while Iran coach Abbas Chamanian made no changes to his starting line-up. Iran got the early lead after Luca Plogmann was able to block Ali Satavi's shot from outside the box but let Younes Delfi's left-footer slip in between his legs from the centre of the box off the rebound in the sixth minute. Delfi came close again in the 15th minute, but the German goalkeeper tipped the free-kick from distance above the crossbar.
Lars Mai's back-pass put his goalkeeper in a difficult situation as the latter struggled to find his footing, losing the ball to Allahyar Sayyad, with Mohammad Ghaderi taking the eventual shot as his team-mate tried to block Plogmann's view. However, the German goalkeeper still managed to pull off a crucial save from close range.
Plogmann pulled off an incredible save in the 26th minute, diving to his left, to deny Sayyad's shot from outside the box, after which Cetin's curling attempt swirled wide of the mark on the other side.
Ghaderi made sprung into the left side of the German box and made space for a shot in the 32nd minute, but of which missed the far corner by a whisker as Iran were dominating in the attacking third though the Deutschers held more than 70% of the possession around the half hour mark.
With over half a dozen shots at goal by the 36th minute, Amirhossein Hosseinzadeh's wasn't fierce enough to trouble Plogmann in his goal.
Delfi's header from very close range into the top right corner doubled the lead for the Asian outfit from a free-kick taken by Mohammad Sharifi that was a result of a foul conceded by Noah Awuku.
Hosseinzadeh successfully beat the off-side trap as he got on the other end of a long cross by Delfi and could have made it 3-0 for Iran before half-time but haplessly shot wide with only the keeper to beat.
Plogmann had to block Delfi's shot at goal soon after the second half resumed but could do nothing when Sayyad spearheaded the Iran number 11's cross from the right with a diving header in the 49th minute. Iran lead 3-0.
In the 60th minute, Iran skipper Mohammad Ghobeishavi intercepted Cetin's pass in the midfield and put it for Saeid Karimi, who in turn pushed the ball forward for Taha Shariati who blasted his shot above the target.
Sayyad won the ball from Karimi well outside the German box in the 72nd minute and on the turn, spotting Plogmann off his line, went for a shot that however moved away from the right post as Iran kept constant pressure on the European side who conceded their fourth on the evening in the 75th minute.
Substitutes Karimi and Vahid Namdari combined well for the latter to slot it at the back of the net as Iran extended their lead by four goals to nil and though German substitute Jessic Ngankam won the ball in a goalmouth melee on the other side, his shot was too feeble to trouble Ali Gholam Zadeh who was hardly tested in the game.
Germany had an opportunity to pull one back late into the regulation time after Jann-Fiete Arp was fouled by Taha Shariati at the edge of the box, but Yannick Keitel's free-kick came crashing off the Iran wall and another set-piece taken by Cetin was just about tipped above his goal by Gholam Zadeh during injury time.