Iran kicked off their AFC Asian Cup campaign in some style with their 5-0 victory over Yemen at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium. It was a game of two halves, but the men in white had top-notch quality and hunger to secure all three points in their first game of the tournament.
In fact, it was Yemen who dominated the game in first ten minutes but lost their way when they could not convert two easy chances inside the penalty box. Iran struggled to match Yemen, but Sardar Azmoun's shot was poorly misjudged by the shot-stopper Saoud Al Sowadi, which was converted by Mehdi Taremi from close range.
Thirteen minutes after the first goal, Ashkan Dejagah's shot from freekick hit the post and ricocheted off the goalkeeper's head to give a two-goal lead to Iran. It was becoming too easy as Mehdi Taremi added one through the header to go into the halftime with a 3-0 advantage.
Sardar Azmoun was doing everything right, except for finishing. But, he get his chance when the ball travelled to him somehow from the corner and he slotted past the defender who could not recover in time.
Saman Ghoddos hit a volley from the tip of the penalty box to produce a rampant scoreline. With the game being dominated by the whites, it was a thoroughly deserved victory for them.
There are plenty of moments from this game, but we shall look at the top three reasons for Iran's comfortable victory over Yemen.
#1 Yemen goalkeeper Saoud Al Sowadi inconsistent throughout the game
Yemen were running riot in the first ten minutes, but the good work was totally nullified when Saoud Al Sowadi spilt the ball which gave the striker Mehdi an opportunity to tap the ball in from close range. He pulled off some spectacular saves early on before conceding the first goal, but the momentum changed and Iran gained confidence after the opener.
For rest of the game, Al Sowadi went unpunished on multiple occasions, but he was shaky whenever he had been closed down. It turned out to be a mixed fortune, but he should have done well and contributed more to his team rather than staying inconsistent throughout the game.
On the other hand, Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand remained untested throughout the game. Since Yemen's defence went for a toss, Al Sowadi was proactive.