Iran outclass Syria in AFC U-23 opener
Doha: Amir Motahhari scored one and set up the other as Iran
kicked off their AFC U23 Championship Group A campaignon
Tuesdayevening with a 2-0 win over Syria at Jassim Bin Hamad
Motahhari claimed a fine solo effort in the 64thminute before setting
up the impressive Mehrdad Mohammadi for the secondeight minutes
lateras Mohammad Khakpour’s side made the perfect start to their
attempt to qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Ali Karimi and Farshid Esmaeili caused concern for the Syrian defence in
the opening 20 minutes, with Karimi forcing Syrian goalkeeper Abdullatif
Nassan into action thanks to a well-taken free kick while Esmaeili sent
his close-range effort over the bar.
Motahhari finally broke the deadlock when, picking the ball up inside the
left side of the Syrian penalty area he skipped past two defenders and
sent a low left foot shot across Nassan and into the far corner.
In the 70thminute, Iranian goalkeeper Mohammadreza Akhbari’s sharp
reactions saw him push Omar Kharbin’s perfectly struck shot over the
bar and, justtwo minutes laterthe result was put beyond any doubt.