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Kabaddi Masters Dubai 2018, Iran vs Pakistan: 5 Talking Points

Iran began the match on a strong note
Iran began the match on a strong note
Abhishek Naik

The action resumed in the Kabaddi Masters Dubai 2018 as the first semi-final of the tournament saw World Cup runners-up Iran took on fellow Asian side Pakistan at the Al Wasl Sports Complex in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The two sides came into this crucial encounter on the back of victories against their respective opponents in the final match of the group stage.

Iran overcame the newcomers Argentina with ease establishing their authority in the group topping the standings. Pakistan faced African side Kenya in their final match and secured their spot in the final four with a strong performance all-around.

Pakistan were hit with the injury of their experienced captain Nasir Ali and Wasim Sajjad took the mantle of leading the side tonight as Qaisir Abbas replaced Ali in the starting seven.

Pakistan's raiding department was led by the duo of Muhammad Nadeem and Mudassar Ali who had done fairly well in the tournament so far, especially Nadeem.

The Pakistani defence hoped to put up a strong fight against the Iranian raiders despite the absence of Nasir Ali.

Iran fielded a strong starting lineup with the absence of Mohammad Maghsoudlou as Saeed Ghaffari and Amin Nosrati took the raiding responsibility tonight along with Mohammad Nabibaksh, the impressive all-rounder in the Iran lineup.

The experienced Hadi Tajik and Mohammad Maleki led the defence for the Iranians as they were well set to quell the threat of the Pakistani raiders.

Iran won the semi-final clash with a strong all-round performance defeating Pakistan with a scoreline of 40-21 as Pakistan fail to capitalize on a good opportunity in the first half to take control.


#1 Iran run away into a strong lead within five minutes

The Iranian side fielded a well-rounded lineup with a good mix of players who raided as well as defended well.

Iran's semi final was off to a banger as Mohammad Nabibaksh began with a stellar 'Super Raid' putting the Iranians on course for a strong start.

The Iranian all-rounded went into raid from the right side of the mat and tried to get the bonus with a reverse leg extension.

However, he was blindsided by the defenders on his left side but he displayed great upper body strength and turned to his back and fell towards the mid-line managing to get his hand over and score three points.

Capitalising on this raid, Iran imposed their dominance quite early in the match and went into a 9-1 lead within the first five minutes.

#2 Pakistan fail to inflict the all-out towards the end of the first half

Iran had taken a comfortable lead in the match with a strong defensive display on the mat not allowing the Pakistani raiders to get comfortable in the match
Iran had taken a comfortable lead in the match with a strong defensive display on the mat not allowing the Pakistani raiders to get comfortable in the match

Iran had taken a comfortable lead in the match with a strong defensive display on the mat not allowing the Pakistani raiders to get comfortable in the match.

However, in the final ten minutes of the match, Pakistan launched a comeback of sorts in the match, making up some of the points gap and reducing the Iranians to two men on the mat.

Iran made a change putting on Mohammad Maghsoudlou and the substitute made hay of the opportunity presented to him.

He put in a great raid to get a bonus point, defended well along with Mohammad Malak but Malak was ruled out of bounds during his tackle. During his next raid, Maghsoudlou even managed to get an easy touch point on the left corner and restored another man on the mat for Iran. Pakistan's failure to inflict the all-out meant Iran went into the second half with a lead of 19-9.

#3 Iran suffer their first all-out at the Kabaddi Masters

Pakistan Kabaddi
Pakistan defense did well to restrict Iran at the start of the second half

Despite the strong resistance displayed by the Iranian side at the end of the first half, Pakistan did manage to score an all-out on them.

Iran led with a score of 19-9 at the end of the first half but Pakistan kept the pressure on them with strong defence and reduced the Iranians down to two after an easy touch point by Nadeem on Mohammad Maghsoudlou.

After a successful tackle point, Muhammad Imran went in against the Iranian captain Mohammad Maleki for the all-out raid.

Maleki made him work hard with good, quick evasive moves but the raider got his man at the end to score the all-out and reduce the deficit to 20-15 in the match.

#4 Good recovery from Iran as they take control of the game

Iran got their bearings back and were back to their usual form exerting pressure on their opponents
Iran got their bearings back and was back to their usual form exerting pressure on their opponents

After the unexpected all-out inflicted by the Pakistani side, Iran got their bearings back and were back to their usual form exerting pressure on their opponents.

The raiders did their job well, keeping the Pakistani defenders on their toes as Mohammad Maghsoudlou and Mohammad Maleki were on target.

The defence led by Malak did a brilliant job of not allowing the Pakistani raiders to continue their momentum in the match. Iran went on to take a sizeable lead after being as close as five points in the match.

#5 The absence of Nasir Ali proves too much for Pakistan

Pakistan were dealt a tough blow before the start of the match as their skipper Nasir Ali was sidelined with an injury
Pakistan was dealt a tough blow before the start of the match as their skipper Nasir Ali was sidelined with an injury

Pakistan were dealt a tough blow before the start of the match as their skipper Nasir Ali was sidelined with an injury and had to sit this match out.

His corner defending partner Wasim Sajjad took charge of the side but could not quite inspire the team against the mighty Iranians.

There was a passage of play when Pakistan looked stronger than Iran on the mat but they failed to capitalize on the momentum and let the match go into the control of the Iranians who ended up winning the match with a 40-21.


What did you think about Iran's semi-final win? Sound off your opinions in the comments section below!

Edited by Alan John

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