The match borders Qatar into the brink of elimination at the 2023 AFC U20 Asian Cup tournament.
Iran’s Mohammad Hazbavi scored the lone goal of a game against Qatar to reach the quarter-finals of the AFC U20 Asian Cup.
In what was expected to be a tough Group B match, Hazbavi rose to the challenge to score a second-half penalty in the opener against a less effective Qatari team.
Consistency was the issue for the young Maroons, who started the game intense as Ahmed Al Rawi nearly struck a goal in the opening minute.
However, it was a while before Qatar got another opportunity in the beginning of the second half as Younis Mohammed bounded a shot slightly over the Iranian box.
Tailing behind the fast-paced Persian Stars, Qatar held an honourable defence as 22 shots were flung from the feet of Iranians.
Despite several attempts, Iran was shortlisted to only six on target.
“The team identified Qatar’s strength before the match and tried to pressure them in the beginning, but the first 10 minutes did not go as planned,” said head coach Abdolsamad Marfavi.
“Iran had plenty of chances, but we failed to capitalise on them. We maintained control in the first half but could not take advantage of the opportunities. We utilised the flanks in the second half and instructed players to move inside the box more, which led to the victory,” Marfavi added.
Ahead of the match, Qatar’s new coach Inaki Abadia anticipated the game to be tough but later concluded that the Perisans wanted more of the win.
“The match was tough, and Iran showed an impressive performance by controlling the game from the beginning,” said Abadia.
“Their will to win was better than ours, and they had numerous chances in the first half. Unfortunately, we could not hold the ball for long and that was our mistake,” Abadia added.
Iran will face Australia next this Saturday, while Qatar must defeat Vietnam to keep their AFC wishes alive.