Iran grabs gold for the fourth time

Updated: 25 February 2007 08:28 IST

Defending champions Iran won the Asian Games football gold medal for the fourth time when they capitalised on two defensive blunders to beat Japan 2-1 in the fi

Iran grabs gold for the fourth time

Busan:

Defending champions Iran won the Asian Games football gold medal for the fourth time when they capitalised on two defensive blunders to beat Japan 2-1 in the final.Javad Kazemeyan and Mohsen Bayatiniya were the goal-scoring stars but they had to survive a nervous last few moments when Satoshi Nakayama grabbed a late reply.The victory meant that Iran defied the critics who claimed that without influential Ali Daei and the suspended Alireza Vahedi Nikbakht they would struggle to retain the gold they won in Bangkok in 1998.Iran's Croatian coach Branco Ivancovic said that he and the players were dedicating victory to Daei, who flew back to Tehran last week following the death of his father."It gives us all a big pleasure to dedicate this win to Ali because he is a legend in Iran and Asia," said Ivancovic. "He is the most popular player and I am certain his career will carry on."Ironically, the coach admitted that his match-winner Bayatiniya was only in the team because of Daei's absence."It is such a strange thing to think that had Ali played then Mohsen would not have. He repaid our faith by scoring the winner," added the Croatian who said that the tournament was won against the odds with Daei, Nikbakht and the suspended Eman Mobali also missing.It was Kazemeyan, with his second goal of the Games, who broke the deadlock just three minutes into the second half when Japan's Hikaru Mita and Takeshi Aoki, who had only just come on as a substitute, got in each other's way. (PTI)



Topics : Football
Related Articles
Metz-Lyon Lique 1 Game Abandoned After Keeper Hit by Firecrackers
Metz-Lyon Lique 1 Game Abandoned After Keeper Hit by Firecrackers
Manchester City Star Yaya Toure Charged With Drink Driving
Manchester City Star Yaya Toure Charged With Drink Driving
Brazil Mourns Fallen Football Team in Pouring Rain
Brazil Mourns Fallen Football Team in Pouring Rain
Show Comments
Advertisement