Iran stun hotshots Germany to book last 16 place
Written by: FIFA
In the other game of the day Guinea were held by a resilient Costa Rica.
The Group C match-up belonged to Team Melli, who dominated a German side that looked out of sorts during the opening 45 minutes. Younes Delfi opened the scoring for Iran on six minutes before striking the crossbar with an audacious free-kick effort on 15 minutes.
If it was not for Germany goalkeeper Luca Plogmann making several important saves, Iran may have been out of sight before half-time at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, as Delfi and Allayahr Sayyad caused the European side numerous problems.
The Iranians would not be denied a second goal, and it was Delfi that converted a free-kick in the Germany six-yard box for a deserved two-goal lead on 42 minutes.
Any hopes that Germany had of a comeback were ended four minutes after the break, as Sayyad’s diving header to Delfi’s excellent cross put the Asian outfit three goals to the good. Substitute Vahid Namdari then finished off a fine counter-attacking move with a quarter of an hour remaining to complete an emphatic result for Iran.
The early exchanges saw little in terms of action at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, but that soon changed with two goals in four minutes, starting with Costa Rica taking the lead through a Yecxy Jarquin tap-in on 26 minutes.
Watch Costa Rica 2-2 Guinea Highlights
The central American’s opener prompted a reply from Guinea, who finished the opening half as the stronger-looking side. They levelled matters on the half-hour mark through Fandje Toure’s second goal of the tournament.
Le Syli Cadet picked up where they left off after the break and created several chances to take the lead, but against the run of play, it was Los Ticos who restored their lead through a somewhat fortuitous Andres Gomez header on 67 minutes.
However, the Africans would not be denied and they equalised in the late stages, as Ibrahima Soumah powered home a fierce strike to earn Guinea a share of the spoils. It was the least they deserved for their efforts that included 42 attempts at the Costa Rican goal during the match.
Published: Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:14 PM IST