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Iran defeats Syria 4-1 and wins West Asian Football Federation title

Tehran, June 26, IRNA -- Iran breezed past Syria 4-1 in the final showdown of the third West Asian Football Federation (WAFF) Championship here Friday.

photo: ISNA

Before over 10,000 flag-waving fans, the home side responded Syria's early opener by four goals to win the title in the presence of Mohamed bin Hammam, president of the Asian Football Federation.

Iranian sensation Arash Borhani could open the scoring in the first minute when his low shot dangerously passed the far post.

photo: ISNA

The boisterous spectators were silenced two minutes later as the Syrian striker Raja Rafe' outran full-back Yahya Golmohammadi to steer the ball past keeper Seyed Mehdi Rahmati.

Syria, which had been trounced by Iran 7-1 Monday was heartened by the goal, making another attack on Iran's woodwork by Mohammad Ghassan Maatouk, whose powerful goal-bound kick from an acute angle produced a dive from Rahmati.

photo: ISNA

Not to be humiliated, Iran possessed the ball and field.

Skipper Ali Daei unleashed a 25-yard drive on 25 minutes, forcing the Syrian goalie Samer Saeed to send out the ball.

Mahmoud al-Amna of Syria was booed and jeered in the 28th minute when he lost his temper, punching Iran's right winger Hossein Ka'bi in the face.

Kuwaiti was kind enough to let Amna keep playing, giving him a yellow card.

Iran forgot the moment the final turned sour by scoring the equalizer in the 33rd minute.

photo: ISNA

Once international striker Daei's header found skilled Ali Karimi, whose angled header kissed the net.

The home team came close to the second six minutes from the break. Midfielder Javad Nekounam rifled a sizzling left shot, which rocked the far post.

photo: ISNA

Former Bayern Munich forward, Daei, lost a scoring chance in a man-to-man challenge against Saeed two minutes after the restart.

But the veteran striker put his side ahead in the 59th minute.

Borhani cleared three Syrian players, feeding Daei with a perfect pass in the area and the captain dribbled past his marker to curl the ball past Saeed.

photo: ISNA

Borhani made it 3-1 on 70 minutes, heading home a Mohammad Nosrati cross.

Iran put the icing on the cake five minutes later when the unmarked Nekounam collected a pass from Karimi to find the back of the net.

Earlier on the day, Jordan beat the Iraqi side 3-1 to stand third.

... Payvand News - 6/26/04 ... --

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