With one match remaining (Mashinsazi Tabriz v Saipa Alborz deferred on 8 January 2017) to complete Week 15 of Persian Gulf Pro League- that means half of the season – and after Hazfi Cup quarter-finals, head coach Carlos Queiroz named 24 players for Iran training camp in United Arab Emitares. It is not yet clear if Team Melli will face Morocco in a friendly originally scheduled for 6 January 2017.
The Portuguese coach did not invite Iranian footballers that play abroad (better known as Legionnaires), except for Milad Mohammadi who plays in Russian club Terek Grozny.
Notable names are: Zob Ahan offensive pair Pahlevan & Tabrizi; penalty specialist Iranpourian; unexpected top scorer Sasan Ansari (who scored 12 goals in 10 appearences for Foolad Khuzestan). Below the current list.
Week 7 of Persian Gulf Pro League has just ended, so Iran Team Melli head coach Carlos Queiroz named 17 players for a training camp in Armenia, in order to face Uzbekistan (6 Oct) and South Korea (11 Oct) in FIFA World Cup qualifying games.
The Portuguese coach did not invite Iranian footballers that play abroad – better known as Legionnaires – since they will join the National squad after their league matches.
No one scored in 83rd Shahravard, the Tehran derby, in week 6 of Persian Gulf Pro League 1395/96. Alireza Faghani was appointed as referee, thanks to his international experience: he refereed 2015 Asian Cup final and men’s Olympic football final at Rio 2016. A victory could be vital for both teams, but for completely different reasons. Persepolis wanted to strenghten their top leading after the last-week tie with Tractorsazi, the latter only two points under Branko Ivankovic’s club; instead, third-bottom Esteghlal searched for their first win in this difficult season, and coach Ali Reza Mansourian knew that a defeat meant a goodbye.
No surprises in the start lining ups, except for Blues as Bakhtyar Rahmani was benched; Reds squad was without injured Vahid Amiri, while Ramin Rezaeian watched the game from the bench since he has come back recently following a short spell in Turkey.
Few hours before the match, it was reported a rumour from Persepolis players, who said that Esteghlal hired a wizard in order to win the Shahravard. Obviously on bleachers hooligans have started to provoke each other already previous the kick-off.
Special guest Carlos Queiroz, who watched the match with his technical staff of Iran Team Melli.
Persepolis had a good start, attacking immediately with Mosalman and Alipour, causing their opponents to foul: after only 12 minutes Omid Ebrahimi received a yellow card due to his foul on Ahmadzadeh. Six minutes later a dangerous right-footed shot by Mehdi Taremi was rejected by Mkoyan shoulder: the Aghaye Gol (top scorer) of the last season at 23′ threatened again his rivals and was fouled by Farshid Bagheri just outside of Esteghlal penalty area; the following free kick ended on Blues defenders. When Farshid Esmaeili fell down after a touch by Mosalman, Mansourian became angry, protesting beside the pitch. But again Taremi conquered a free kick, this time from 65 feet (20 metres): Omid Alishah direct shot found the opponents wall.
The mood difference of the two coaches was clear: Mansourian continuously calling his guys; Branko queitly watching the game.
With 5 minutes before half time, Vouria Ghafouri woke up and dribbled two Reds on the right of Persepolis penalty area, however there was no teammate to benefit from his pass; Esteghlal advanced one more time with Ebrahimi, tackled by Kamyabinia, but Faghani said to keep continuing to play.
In the opening of 2nd half Kaveh Rezaei scared Ghermez-ha fans, as he attempted twice to score in front of Beiranvand, since the goalkeeper has lost the ball after the first save. Esteghlal returned determined from the break, with Ghafouri and Khosro Heydari incursions on the right side, in order to cross for Rezaei: at 54′ S. Jalal Hosseini headed away, at 56′ Jaber Ansari did not succeed in a bicycle kick.
After one hour of game, Alishah found Taremi, whose header finished over the crossbar. A few later Mosalman passed a golden ball to the Bushehr-born forward, who shot from the right but Mehdi Rahmati deflected the ball. Branko replaced injured Mohammad Ansari with Oleksiy Polyanskyi, and the Reds attempted again to score by head (Ahmadzadeh) and left-foot (Alipour) with no accuracy.
On the other side, Farshid Bagheri crossed for Rezaei, who wasted another opportunity heading out on the left. With ten minutes remaining, Mansourian subbed in Ali Ghorbani instead of Jaber Ansari (under expectation performance): both teams became nervous seeking for the winning goal, and a smoke screen appeared from bleachers. Alishah was hit by a bottle lauched from hooligans, before he could kick from the corner, and was replaced by Nourollahi.
In the injury time Polyanskyi scored, burning Azadi stadium, but Faghani estinguished the flames because Ukrainan player was caught offside.
1 Beiranvand; 4 S. J. Hosseini, 15 M. Ansari (69′ #22 Polyanskyi), 13 Mahini; 18 Rabi Khah, 11 Kamyabinia, 77 Mosalman, 10 Ahmadzadeh, 3 Alishah (90+1′ #8 Nourollahi); 70 Alipour (85′ #80 Pryyomov), 9 Taremi Head coach Branko Ivankovic
1 Rahmati; 33 M. Hosseini, 3 Robson, 15 Mkoyan; 21 Ghafouri, 6 Ebrahimi, 14 F. Bagheri, 88 Esmaeili (90+2′ #74 Haghdoust); 2 Heydari, 11 J. Ansari (81′ #17 A. Ghorbani), 9 K. Rezaei Head coach Ali Reza Mansourian
Bookings: 12′ Ebrahimi (EST), 21′ Alipour (PER), 68′ F. Bagheri (EST), 77′ Kamal Kamyabinia, 88′ Heydari (EST)
Nekounam spent 6 years in LaLiga playing in Osasuna, most of them with compatriot Masoud Shojaei. In his first season in Pamplona he helped his club to reach UEFA Cup semi-finals, and Spanish supporters still remember his late goal at 120′ against Bordeaux in 2nd leg of Round of 32.
After a couple of years in Esteghlal Tehran and Al Kuwait – following his excellent performances in FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 – he returned to Osasuna in Segunda Division as captain, joined by Karim Ansarifard. He played last season between Iran (Saipa Karaj) and Qatar (Al Arabi).
LaLiga All Stars will face an Iranian squad captained obviously by Javad Nekounam. Rumours say that we will see playing again Ali Daei, Mehdi Mahdavikia, Yahya Golmohammadi. Ali Karimi was added to the team, after he denied his appearance.
In Spain the complete list of the squad was announced on 22 August, as you can see below.
LaLiga All Stars
Goalkeepers: Koke Contreras, Leo Franco Defenders: Eric Abidal, Francisco Pavón, Michel Salgado, Joan Capdevila, Fernando Sanz Midfielders: Claude Makélélé, Gaizka Mendieta, David Albelda, Marcos Senna, José Emilio Amavisca, Francesco Coco Strikers: Fernando Morientes, Luis García, Albert Luque
With one match of Persian Gulf Pro League week 4 – FC Mashhad v Foolad Khuzestan – not played yet, FFIRI-Football Federation of Iran official website published the list of call-ups for the training camp in Italy.
Carlos Queiroz, head coach of National football team of Iran, invited 25 players that will reach Italy on 13 August. The plan of the Italian camp with the friendly games is avalaible on this website (click here for details).
At the current time, the Portuguese coach chose to call only footballers that play in Iran or in Qatar, since the Qatar Stars League will start on 15 September. Most probably the Legionnaires (Iranian players in European professional leagues) will be added before the qualifiers against Qatar and China. Team Melli captain Andranik Teymourian is back after 5 months since he had a bad injury. Below you can read the full list.
Week 1 of Dutch Premier League, better known as Eredivisie, celebrating 60 years.
In Alkmaar the home team AZ faced SC Heerenveen in a nice game, with 4 goals, ended in a draw. Many Iranian people were waiting for this match to see two stars of Team Melli: Jahanbakhsh and Ghoochannejhad.
Alireza Jahanbakhsh is playing his second season with AZ, after spending 2 years in NEC Nijmegen: the Gilan-born winger is nearly 23 and this Eredivisie could represent an important point to grow up in his young career. Many teams from England and Germany showed interest in Alireza, a fast midfielder and assistman.
Reza Ghoochannejhad came back to Netherlands in the club with whom he made his first professional appearance at 18 in 2005. The stricker wants to get back scoring after one unsuccessful Championship with Charlton, just relegated to League One. He is the only Iranian that scored in the last FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014.
Both the players started in the line-up of the match, on 7 August 2016. Reza played 75 minutes, replaced by Veerman. Ghoochannejhad tried to beat Sergio Rochet twice in the 1st half: his left footed shots were saved by AZ Uruguayan goalkeeper, the second one saved in the bottom right corner. On the other side, Alireza helped his team to take the advantage, as he assisted Markus Henriksen after 33 minutes. Jahanbakhsh attempted twice, too: at 70′, but his shot was slowed down by an opponent’s touch; and with three minutes remaining, when he shot from the right and the ball was blocked by Heerenveen number one.
Iranian fans can be satisfied by their condition, since Carlos Queiroz will most probably call them up for upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Qatar and China,
AZ Alkmaar (4-3-3)
1 Rochet; 23 Luckassen, 3 Van Eijden, 4 Vlaar, 5 Haps; 10 Henriksen, 8 Van Overeem, 30 Wuytens; 7 Jahanbakhsh, 9 Weghorst (81′ #27 Friday), 19 Dos Santos (79′ #28 Levi Garcia)