Written By Jacobs Dunga
Team Melli progressed to the quarter finals albeit in a nail biting circumstance.
Iran and Syria faced off at the Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium in a round of 16 encounter.
The Iranians went into the game as huge favourites against Lowly rated Syria.
It was however a different ball game as hostilities were tightened between both sides who could not be separated over 120 minutes.
FC Porto striker Mehdi Taremi headlined the show as he both scored and saw red in the even encounter.
The 31 year old converted from the spot in the 34th minute to put Iran ahead going into the break.
Syria never gave up as they chased the equalizer against their more fancied opponents.
They got their reward eventually in the 64th minute when the referee rightfully awarded them a penalty of their own.
Omar Khribin converted coolly to bring the Qasioun Eagles level.
Taremi got a caution in the 81st minute and was shown his marching order ten minutes later after another bookable offence.
Iran however held on for the remainder of the stoppages and through the thirty minutes of extra time.
The game had to be settled on penalties and Team Melli converted all five of their kicks while Fahad Youssef’s miss ended the Qasioun Eagles’ run.
Iran will now face japan in the quarter finals of the Asian cup in Qatar as both teams go in search of glory.
The two power houses have seven Asian Cup titles between them but one haven’t won in recent time.
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Iran’s last victory came as far back as 1976 while Japan’s last was in 2011.
Amir Ghalenoei will be without the suspended Mehdi Taremi in the crucial tie but will be hopeful other players step up in his absence.
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