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Iran Beats Bahrain 2-0 in Melbourne

Iran Beats Bahrain 2-0 in MelbourneIran Beats Bahrain 2-0 in Melbourne

Iran earned a precious 2-0 victory over Bahrain in a tempestuous Asian Cup clash on Sunday.

The two teams created a couple of scoring opportunities during the first half but no side could take the lead until the stoppage time when Ehsan Hajsafi from Iran produced a moment of magic with almost the last kick of the first half, when his sumptuous volley from just outside the box found the net.

Iran, seeking to end a 39-year wait for a fourth title, effectively sealed the points when Masoud Shojaei added a second in the 71st minute to end Bahrain's brave resistance in Melbourne and trigger wild celebrations from a crowd of 17,000.

Bahrain fought hard and put pressure on Iran at times, creating few scoring opportunities, however, not serious enough to give them a lead in the game.

According to AFC Asian Cup website, Iran, the highest ranked team in the Asian Cup, arrived in Melbourne last week with their coach Carlos Queiroz saying they did not have enough preparation for the tournament and that they might "not be in the right shape to show their best." If this is the pace, energy and commitment Iran shows when they are underdone, then their rivals had better beware when they get warmed up.

Iran's Asian Cup drought dates back to 1976, when it won the third of three successive titles.

Speaking after the match, coach Queiroz said Iran’s win over Bahrain highlights a bright future for Team Melli. "After 10 minutes we started to put the ball on the grass and we started to create opportunities.

I think we controlled the game for most of the time and had the chance to score more goals and I think we deserved to win the game," he added.

Earlier, the United Arab Emirates laid down a marker by thrashing Qatar 4-1 to go top of the group on goal difference. A brace each from forwards Ahmed Khalil and Ali Mabkhout gave the UAE a comprehensive win over Gulf Cup champions Qatar in their Group C opener at Canberra Stadium.

Financialtribune.com