By Farrokh Hesabi

Asian football suffers from ‘tactical poverty’, expert says

December 20, 2020 - 18:12

TEHRAN - Persepolis missed the opportunity to claim the 2020 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League as they lost to South Korea’s Ulsan Hyundai at the final match of the competitions.

Iranian football expert, Jalal Cheraghpour believes that regardless of the result of the final match of the AFC Champions League (ACL), the game had some important facts to be considered.

“The most considerable point, in my opinion, in the match between Persepolis and Ulsan Hyundai was the awful tactical performance of the Asian football’s final match at a prestigious club competition. I want to call it a ‘tactical poverty’ or ‘tactical inefficiency’. The reason that I consider such titles for this match is that although the teams scored three goals in total (2-1) but none of them were as a result of tactical performance,” said Cheraghpour.

“All the goals were the outcome of the individual mistakes from the other team’s players. In fact, there was no special pattern in the tactical approach of the two teams and no successful execution of the tactics, especially in the offensive phase. Persepolis scored when the Ulsan Hyundai defender lost his balance and allowed Mehdi Abdi to steal the ball and fired home from inside the box. The Korean side’s goals came by the careless actions of the Persepolis players; a clumsy challenge by Ahmad Noorollahi and then Mehdi Shiri’s awkward handball in the area. The pace of the game was so slow. The game was not as lively and exciting as it was expected to be and was boring,” he added.

The former coach of some of the Iranian teams also slammed the level of the refereeing of the game. Abdulrahman Al Jassim used the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) three times in the game. In two cases, he awarded penalties to Ulsan Hyundai and in another one, he denied announcing a penalty in favor of Persepolis.

“I don’t understand why the referee should leave everything to the VAR. some of the incidents in the game including the penalties were clear to decide but he just checked the VAR and failed to recognize them at the time of happening. It shows that the referee was not at a high level of preparation for such a game. In the crowded scenes he was not able to decide well,” He concluded.

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