Qantas Joeys knocked out of AFC U16 Championship

The Qantas Joeys hopes of qualifying for the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2013 were dashed after they were defeated 5-1 by host national IR Iran in their quarter-final of the AFC U-16 Championship 2012 in Tehran.

The Qantas Joeys hopes of qualifying for the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2013 were dashed after they were defeated 5-1 by host national IR Iran in their quarter-final of the AFC U-16 Championship 2012 in Tehran.

In front of a partisan crowd of 3,850, the Iranian-s applied the pressure from the opening whistle and took the early chances with Seyedmajid Hosseini-s long range effort in the third minute flying over the crossbar and Amirmohammad Mazloum shot four minutes later going wide of goal.

At the 10 minute mark, Qantas Joeys goal keeper Andre Jannese came to the rescue with a timely double save from Reza Karmollachaab, first with his left leg and then with the right as the Iran forward tried to hook in a rebound. Jannese backed up three minutes later with a great save to deny Mohammadreza Bazaj's diving header.

Jannese was called into action again in the 22nd minute when he produced a fine diving save to his left to push wide Mazloum-s powerful shot from outside the box.

Iran opened the scoring on the half-hour after Qantas Joeys defender Aaron Calver fouled Mazloum inside his own penalty box. Saied Ezatolahi stepped up to the mark and hit his shot to the left sending Jannese in the opposite direction.

Iran doubled their lead four minutes later after Mazloum made a break down the left and then crossed from the goal-line to the Karmollachaab inside the 6-yard box who was able to get a foot to the ball and beat Jannese inside his near post.

The Qantas Joeys tried to get a goal back towards the end of the first half with Daniel De Silva having two half chances which drew a save out of Daniel Nia in the Iranian goal.

The second half saw Iran continue to dominate proceedings and they extended their lead just after the hour-mark when Bazaj received a cut back pass from Ali Rigi about 12-yards out and then slotted his shot into the right-side of the goal, giving Jannese no chance of saving.

Rigi nearly made it four for Iran two minutes later when his shot deflected off Rocco Pizzata and hit the Qantas Joeys cross bar.

Trying to chase a result, Qantas Joeys Head Coach Alistair Edwards made a double change in the 68th minute with Todd Norris and Bai Antoniou replacing Alex Gersbach and Taylor Tombides respectively.

The substitutions had an effect with the Qantas Joeys creating more opportunities as a result.

But any hope of a late comeback for the Qantas Joeys was quashed in the 81st minute when Ali Rigi beat three defenders on a solo run and hit an unstoppable shot into the left side of the goal to give his team an insurmountable four goal lead.

Bai Antoniou did score a consolation goal for the Qantas Joeys in the 88th minute, but Karmollachaab underlined Iran-s emphatic victory with his second goal of the evening deep into additional time.

Speaking at the post-match media conference, Edwards was disappointed that his team had been knocked out of the tournament, but also paid tribute to the Iranians on their performance.

"Congratulations to Iran for qualifying to the World Cup and on their much deserved victory," Edwards said.

"Of course we had hoped we would qualify and we didn't expect such a result but Iran played a high-pressure game and didn't allow us to get into our rhythm. We made too many mistakes at times but again this was mainly down to Iran's pressure.

Edwards was asked at the post-match press conference if he regretted not fielding a stronger side in the last group stage match against Iraq which, had they won, would have given them a relatively easier quarter-final.

"All games in the tournament have been difficult and on another day we could have won the penalty shootout against Iraq.

"But it would have been tough playing Kuwait as well. At the end of the day Iran played much better than us and deserved their victory.

"I am happy for Iran but also proud of my players. Apart from the match today I think we had a good tournament."

In the other quarter finals matches, Iraq defeated Kuwait 3-1, Uzbekistan defeated Korea Republic in a penalty shoot-out after team-s scored a goal each in extra time and Japan defeated Syrian 2-1.

Match Details IR Iran 5 (Saeid Afagh 31-(pen), Reza Karmollachaab 35/90+3-, Mohammadreza Bazaj 61-, Ali Rigi 81--) Qantas Joeys 1 (Bai Antoniou 88-) PAS Stadium, Tehran, I.R. IRAN Sunday 30 September 2012

Referee: Maasaki TOMA (JAPAN) Assistant Referees: Otsuka HARUHIRO (JAPAN) & Hsu Min YU (CHINESE TAIPEI) Fourth Official: Yousef Th Y Th ALMARZOUQ (KUWAIT) Crowd: 3,850

IR Iran: 2.Amir Nasr AZADANI, 3.Sasan JAFARI, 5.Seyedmajid HOSSEINI (C), 6.Saeid Ezatolahi AFAGH, 7.Erfan VEJDANI (4.Komeil HAGHZADEH 26-), 8.Mohammadreza BAZAJ (18.Sadegh MOHARRAMI 65-), 9.Amirmohammad Mazloum GHAZIANI (17.Ali HAZAMI 76-), 10.Reza KARMOLLACHAAB, 11.Ali RIGI, 12.Danial Kazem NIA (gk), 16.Milad DAEI ,

Substitutes Not Used: 1.SEYeDSAJJAD SEYED (gk), 13.Mojtabi MOGHTADAEI, 14.Erfan ESTAKHRI, 15.Shervin KAZEMIFARD, 19.Reza ZAREI, 20.Ali SHOJAEI, 21.Parsa SALIMI (gk), 22.Omid Nor AFKAN, 23.Keivan HASHEMI

Yellow Cards: Mohammadreza Bazaj 60-, Amir Azadani 75-

Qantas Joeys: 1.Andre JANNESE (gk), 3.Aaron CALVER, 4.Jack IREDALE, 5.James BALDACCHINO (C), 8.Kevin LY, 9.Joshua MACDONALD, 10.Daniel DE SILVA, 11.Alex GERSBACH (22.Todd NORRIS 68-), 13.Rocco PIZZATA, 19.Taylor TOMBIDES (17.Bai ANTONIOU 68-), 20.Hyuga TANNER (6.Liam ROSE 39-)

Substitutes Not Used: 2.Darcy MADDEN, 7.Steve KUZMANOVSKI, 12.Jordan THURTELL (gk), 14.Matthew STEWART, 15.Matthew SCHMIDT,16.Matthew NTOUMENOPOULOS, 18.Lucas SPINELLA (gk), 21.Jordan PUDLER, 23.Lukas STERGIOU

Yellow Cards: Kevin Ly 9-, Alex Gersbach 48-, Alex MacDonald 83-.