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Soccer: Iran's Olympic hopefuls defeat Malaysia 6-0

By Kambakhsh Khalaji

Tehran, May 1, IRNA -- Iran handed the Malaysian football side a 6-0 drubbing in their second-leg qualifier of 2004 Athens Olympic Games here Friday.

photo: ISNA

Supported by over 60,000 die-hard fans in Azadi stadium, Iran possessed the ball and field as of the kick-off and scored the opener in the 22nd minute when striker Arash Borhani fired home with a spectacular bicycle kick.

Playmaker-cum-scorer Iman Mob`ali made it 2-0, firing a 25-yard drive past the visitor`s keeper Muhammad Mustafa seven minutes before the break.

photo: ISNA

The home team came close to the third on 54 minutes by the advancing defender Mohammad Nosrati, whose header rebounded by Yosri in the goalmouth.

Mustafa was forced to block a powerful shot from Sattar Zare` two minutes later but the goalie joined the watchers in the 70th minute when the right winger Hossein Ka`bi sent a delightful goal-bound volley above his head after well combining with Borhani.

Ka`bi turned provider on 78 minutes, feeding skipper Moharram Navidkia just behind the penalty area and the national midfielder stunned the advancing Mustafa with another volley.

Substitute Ali Alizadeh outjumped his marker in the box to head home a nicely-flighted cross from Zare` eight minutes from the normal time.

Mustafa had to take the ball out of the net just one minute later as Mehrzad Ma`danchi dribbled past him to celebrate the sixth.

photo: ISNA

Iran had crushed Malaysia 4-1 in the first leg in Kuala Lumpur.

The walkover kept Iran in the second place of Group A on nine points out of five games while leader South Korea has won 12 points of four matches.

China entertains the Korean side Saturday afternoon in Beijing.

Iran has pinned all its hopes on China`s victory in the deciding qualifier.

Iran will be hopeful if the Chinese team beats Korea and will qualify for the Olympic Games due to better goal difference in case it also defeats South Korea in the return game in Seoul on May 12.

... Payvand News - 5/1/04 ... --

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