Iran Under 16 4-1 Singapore Under 16
TASHKENT –Iran eased to a comfortable 4-1 win against Singapore on Wednesday to head into the quarter-finals of the AFC U-16 Championship with a 100% record after wrapping up Group A.
With a place in the last eight already secured as group winners, Iran dominated from the off and opened the scoring in the first half through Mehrgan Golbarg’s neat close range finish.
Ali Darvishi’s spectacular second half strike, an own goal from Kenneth Chang and a late tap-in from substitute Farhad Gholizadeh wrapped up the win, while Muhammad Al Qaasimy struck Singapore’s first goal of the tournament with a late breakaway.
The only concern for Iran was an injury to Golbarg, who was carried off just before the break with a right ankle injury following a 50-50 challenge.
On a glorious day in the Uzbekistan capital, Kaveh Rezaei should have handed Iran a fifth minute lead, but after skipping clear of the Singapore defence, he saw Muhammad Syazwan produce a full length diving save.
A minute later Ali Heydari rattled the foot of Syazwan’s right hand post before blazing over from the edge of the area and seeing a similar effort helped over the crossbar by the Singapore custodian.
Iran continued to dominate as captain Aghaj Imanighareh drilled wide midway through the first half before Rezaei was denied by Syazwan from close range after pouncing on a loose ball inside the area.
Imanighareh and Mohsen Talebat both had chances before Iran finally opened the scoring 14 minutes before the break as Darvishi’s right wing free-kick was met by the onrushing Golbarg, who gave Syazwan no chance from close range.
Captain Muhammad Muhaymin produced a rare attack for Singapore shortly after, but following a swift counterattack, fired straight at Pedram Yazdani before Golbarg was stretchered off in the closing stages of the first half.
Six minutes after the break Darvishi doubled Iran’s advantage as he picked up the ball 30-yards from goal and drilled a dipping strike over a helpless Syazwan.
Iran added a third as Gholizadeh’s clever pass opened up space for Rezaei inside the area and as the striker’s scuffed shot looked to be heading wide, the ball was bundled over the line by Chang.
Singapore finished the tournament on an upbeat note as substitute Al Qaasimy rounded off a swift counterattack with nine minutes remaining before Gholizadeh tapped home Heydari’s cross at the far post to wrap up the win for dominant Iran.