Az­moun is at the dou­ble for strong Iran

Sport360 - - 2019 Asian Cup - By Staff Re­porter @Sport360 ✉ ed­i­to­[email protected]

Iran as­sured them­selves of a spot in the Asian Cup 2019’s round of 16 on Satur­day, as an ul­ti­mately con­vinc­ing 2-0 win over Viet­nam also saw them un­der­line their po­si­tion at the top of Group D.

At a won­der­fully at­mo­spheric Al Nahyan Sta­dium, two goals from Sar­dar Az­moun en­sured the Ira­ni­ans made it six points from six – an im­pres­sive start to a cam­paign which has now seen the three-time cham­pi­ons of Asia guar­an­tee their progress to the knock­out phase along with Iraq who beat Yemen in the group’s later game.

With one round of matches still to come, Viet­nam must beat Yemen to stand any chance of seal­ing their place in the next round as one of the best third-place fin­ish­ers.

With Iran on top and Viet­nam un­able to launch a co­he­sive at­tack of their own, the al­most in­evitable break­through came on 38 min­utes, Az­moun ris­ing high­est to head home a pin­point Ghod­dos cross and send his side into the half-time break hold­ing a cru­cial, if slen­der, lead.

Iran, clearly in­tent on scor­ing a sec­ond, con­tin­ued to press, and their pa­tience was duly re­warded on 68 min­utes, Az­moun neatly gath­er­ing a Mahdi Torabi pass and fir­ing past Van Lam to ex­tend his side’s ad­van­tage and regis­ter his third goal of the tour­na­ment.

Mean­while, Iraq sealed a place in the knock­outs af­ter cruis­ing to a 3-0 win over Yemen in a Group D tie at Shar­jah Sta­dium on Satur­day.

They took the lead in the 11th minute when 18-year-old Mo­hanad Ali Kad­him beat the Yemen de­fence be­fore un­leash­ing a shot from out­side the box into the bot­tom right cor­ner.

Yemen goal­keeper Saoud Al Sowadi soon found him­self un­der in­ces­sant pres­sure and con­ceded the sec­ond goal in the 19th minute when Bashar Re­san Bonyan’s strike from the top of the box bounced off the right post be­fore set­tling in the net.

2015 semi-fi­nal­ists Iraq ended pro­ceed­ings on a high note as Alaa Ab­bas score with a left-footed shot.

Iran are set to com­plete their group stage fix­tures against Iraq – with pole po­si­tion up for grabs – next Wed­nes­day in Dubai. Viet­nam are sched­uled to face Yemen in Al Ain on the same day.

Un­stop­pable: Sar­dar Az­moun (l).

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.