The last time the Indian football team held Iran to a goalless draw was 33 years ago, on 7th December 1984 in the Asia Cup Finals in Singapore.
After the draw against India, Iran U-16 head coach Abbas Chamanian criticised India’s performance in his side’s fixture against Bibiano Fernandes’ boys. The Blue Colts held the 2016 runners-up to a 0-0 draw, helped by a heroic performance from goalkeeper Niraj Kumar, in the AFC U-16 Championship group stage match.
Watch: India 0-0 Iran highlights
In the post-match press conference Chamanian said, “India did not play the beautiful game. If we scored the first goal early, things would have been different.”
The last time, the Indian football team held Iran to a goalless draw was 33 years ago, on 7th December 1984 in the Asia Cup Finals in Singapore. At Bukit Jalil Stadium (Malaysia) too, the Indians put in a good display to hold the Asian powerhouse.
The Iranian gaffer quipped, “We could have scored two goals and shown beautiful football to people.”
The Indians pressed throughout the fixture, supported by sturdy defensive organisation, and quick counter-attacks. Although, Iran dominated in terms of possession, India had the best clear-cut chances in the dying minutes of the match, but wasted those opportunities. Indian coach Bibiano Fernandes implemented well-planned tactics in his team’s midfield and the back four. They synced well throughout the 90 minutes and asked Iran stubborn questions.
Chamanian further stated, “We lost the chance to earn three points, but we will be prepared for the next game.”
Meanwhile, Fernandes said, “We have got better and better as the tournament has progressed. The mistakes I had identified defensively in the game against Vietnam were not there against Iran. We performed to the best of our abilities and though it would have been special if we would have won, we are happy with a point and aim on our next opponents. It was a difficult match for us against Iran. Iran are one of the strongest teams to face in youth tournaments and we almost had a win against them.”