Iran kicked off their campaign in the FIFA U-17 World Cup with a 3-1 drubbing of Guinea in a Group C encounter at the Nehru stadium in Margao on Saturday.
Defensive in the first half, Iran latched on to the chances that came their way, and score through Allahyar Sayyad (59th minute), Mohammed Sharifi (70th) and substitute Karimi Saeid (90th) to gain full points from their opening game of the tournament.
Guinea got a consolation goal when Fandje Toure found the back of the net in the first minute of injury time.
Playing with 10 men for more than 20 minutes in the second half, Guinea dominated proceedings for a major part of the game and have themselves to blame for the defeat. They failed to convert the opportunities that came their way into goals, with Fandje twice failing to score after coming close.
Both teams failed to entertain the crowd due during a lacklustre first half. Guinea had more possession but lacked firepower, and Iran’s defence was always up to the task.
They had the first chance to take the lead in the 15th minute when Ibrahima Soumah, from the right, sent a cross into the box for Fandje, whose header hit the right post.
Guinea’s captain Sekou Camara, who was a livewire in the middle, then fed Fandje inside the box but the striker’s shot was well saved by rival goalkeeper Gholam Zadeh Ali in the 30th minute.
Iran, who were mostly defending, came up with occasional forays, and often played long balls.
Things remained same in the second half with the Africian outfit enjoying possession but unable to break the deadlock.
Iran finally scored when Allahyar Sayyad unleased a right-footer that found the roof of the net in the 59th minute. The goal happened after Ghaderi Mohammed sent in a cross into the box, which was deflected by a rival defender.
Mohammed Sharifi made it 2-0 for Iran when he converted a penalty the 70th minute. The spot kick was awarded after Guinea defender Cherif Camara fouled Ghaderi Mohammed inside the box and was red carded by referee Argote Jose.
Reduced to 10 men, Guinea had no option but to go all out in search of goals, but Iran defence stood their ground well. Substitute Karim rounded off the tally in the 90th minute to give Iran a comfortable win.