Iran hold by Syria in FIFA World Cup qualifier

November 15, 2016 - 19:0

Syria held Islamic Republic of Iran to a 0-0 draw in their FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 qualifier at a drenched Tuanku Abdul Rahman Stadium in Malaysia on Tuesday.

The wet conditions not only delayed the kick-off for 45 minutes but made playing conditions difficult for both teams.
Iran, who stayed top of Group A with eleven points from the first five games in the third round of qualification and a point ahead of Korea Republic in second, had the better of the chances but were unable to put the ball in the net.
Syria stay in fourth with five points after five games, four behind Uzbekistan in third and still in the running.
Iran had the first real chance of the game inside the first five minutes and it came down the left. Ashkan Dejagah rolled the ball to Mehdi Taremi but his low shot was well-saved by Ibrahim Alma in the Syrian goal who was in great form throughout.
Dejagah was again involved ten minutes before the half, with a shot on the turn from outside the area that again was gathered by Alma. Soon after Saeid Ezatolahi had a header blocked as Iran looked to break the deadlock.
With the heavy pitch and Syria sitting back and defending in numbers, it proved to be tough for Iran to find any space in the pitch. Syria were trying to disrupt Iran's rhythm but the group leaders started to pile on the pressure as the game progressed, the-afc wrote.
Chances were few and far between but a piece of individual brilliance from Alireza Jahanbakhsh almost beat the Syrian goalkeeper in the latter stages.
In space on the right side, the attacker fired a swerving and swirling shot from distance that had Alma backpedalling to push the ball over the bar.
The best chance of the game however came with three minutes remaining and it fell to IR Iran.
Milad Mohammadi galloped down the left wing to send over a perfect cross to the far post where Jahanbaksh rose unchallenged only to send his downward header wide of the post.
Iran tried to push forward again but ran out of time and had to settle for a point.

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