1998 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC–OFC play-off)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
1998 FIFA World Cup qualification
(AFCOFC play-off)
Event 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification
3–3 on aggregate, Iran won on away goals
First leg
Date 22 November 1997
Venue Azadi Stadium, Tehran
Referee Pierluigi Pairetto (Italy)
Attendance 128,000[1]
Second leg
Date 29 November 1997
Venue MCG, Melbourne
Referee Sándor Puhl (Hungary)
Attendance 85,022

The 1998 FIFA World Cup AFCOFC qualification play-off was a two-legged home-and-away tie between the winners of the Oceania qualifying tournament, Australia, and the losing team in the AFC play-off from the Asian qualifying tournament, Iran. The games were played on 22 and 29 November 1997 in Tehran and Melbourne respectively. Australia was hoping to play in the FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1974 and Iran in 1978.

Background[edit]

Iran Round Australia
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Saudi Arabia 8 4 2 2 8 6 2 14
 Iran 8 3 3 2 13 8 5 12
 China PR 8 3 2 3 11 14 −3 11
 Qatar 8 3 1 4 7 10 −3 10
 Kuwait 8 2 2 4 7 8 −1 8
Final standings
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Australia 4 4 0 0 26 2 24 12
 Solomon Islands 4 1 1 2 7 21 −14 4
 Tahiti 4 0 1 3 2 12 −10 1
Opponent Result Final round Opponent Result
 Japan (N) 2–3 (a.e.t.) 1st leg  New Zealand (A) 2–0
2nd leg  New Zealand (H) 4–1

Play-off match[edit]

First leg[edit]

Prior to arrival in Tehran, Terry Venables and others involved in the Australian national team had made negative comments about Iran, stating it as being dangerous, and going so far as to bring their own drinking water for their stay.

The first leg of the play-off, on 22 November 1997, took place in Tehran, Iran, with the result a 1–1 draw. Attendance for this match was extremely high, as 128,000 fans packed Azadi Stadium, despite it only having a capacity for 100,000 fans at the time.[2]

Full of confidence after this result, the Australian team came to the second leg in Melbourne believing they could progress to their first FIFA World Cup in 24 years.

22 November 1997
15:30 (IRST)
Iran  1–1  Australia
Azizi Goal 39' Report Goal 19' Kewell
Azadi Stadium, Tehran
Attendance: 128,000[3]
Referee: Pierluigi Pairetto (Italy)
Iran
IRAN:
GK 1 Ahmad Reza Abedzadeh (c)
4 Mohammad Khakpour Booked 40'
16 Reza Shahroudi
5 Afshin Peyrovani
11 Khodadad Azizi
7 Ali Reza Mansourian Substituted off 65'
10 Ali Daei
2 Mehdi Mahdavikia
9 Hamid Estili
20 Mehdi Pashazadeh Substituted off 75'
23 Naeim Saadavi
Substitutions:
GK 22 Nima Nakisa
15 Ali Akbar Ostad-Asadi
8 Majid Namjoo-Motlagh
25 Mehrdad Minavand
24 Javad Zarincheh
19 Farhad Majidi Substituted in 75'
18 Ebrahim Tahami Substituted in 65'
Manager:
Brazil Valdeir Vieira
Australia
AUSTRALIA:
GK 1 Mark Bosnich
2 Craig Moore
3 Tony Vidmar
4 Steve Horvat
5 Alex Tobin (c) Booked 50'
6 Ned Zelić
7 Robbie Slater Substituted off 58'
8 Craig Foster
9 Mark Viduka
10 Aurelio Vidmar Booked 20' Substituted off 58'
11 Harry Kewell Booked 40' Substituted off 88'
Substitutions:
GK 22 Željko Kalac
12 Milan Ivanović
13 Stan Lazaridis Substituted in 58'
14 Ernie Tapai Booked 85' Substituted in 58'
15 Josip Skoko
16 Graham Arnold Substituted in 88'
17 John Aloisi
Manager:
England Terry Venables

OFFICIALS

MATCH RULES

Second leg[edit]

The second leg, held on 29 November at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, had a crowd of over 88,000, a then-record for an association football match at the ground.

With Australia holding a 1–0 lead at half-time and scoring a second goal just after the break, it looked likely that they would progress to the World Cup. Immediately following Australia's second goal, serial pest Peter Hore cut up Iran's goal net, causing a halt in play. However, Australia's dominance continued until a controversial booking of Harry Kewell following a collision with Iranian goalkeeper Ahmad Reza Abedzadeh in the 72nd minute. This seemed to quell the Australians' momentum, as an Iranian revival, led by Khodadad Azizi, saw Iran score two quick goals to make the score 3–3 on aggregate, with Iran progressing on away goals.

Despite being undefeated throughout their entire qualifying campaign, Australia had again failed to qualify for the World Cup finals. Along with host nation and eventual winner France (who as host nation did not need to qualify), and Saint Kitts and Nevis, Australia were one of three teams to not lose a game in the entire campaign.

The match is considered by many Australians as one of the most tragic moments in their sporting history. The broadcast of the game on SBS featured closing comments from a clearly distraught Les Murray and Johnny Warren, with Warren openly weeping on air.

29 November 1997
20:15 (AEDT)
Australia  2–2  Iran
Kewell Goal 32'
Vidmar Goal 48'
Report Goal 71' Bagheri
Goal 75' Azizi
Australia
AUSTRALIA:
GK 1 Mark Bosnich
2 Craig Moore Substituted off 78'
3 Stan Lazaridis
4 Steve Horvat
5 Alex Tobin (c)
6 Nedijeljko Zelic
7 Robbie Slater Substituted off 76'
8 Craig Foster
9 Mark Viduka
10 Aurelio Vidmar Substituted off 76'
11 Harry Kewell Booked 72'
Substitutions:
GK 22 Zeljko Kalac
12 Milan Ivanovic
19 Tony Vidmar Substituted in 76'
14 Ernie Tapai Substituted in 76'
15 Josip Skoko
16 Graham Arnold Substituted in 78'
17 John Aloisi
Manager:
England Terry Venables
Iran
IRAN:
GK 1 Ahmadreza Abedzadeh (c)
4 Mohammad Khakpour Booked 29'
16 Reza Shahroudi Substituted off 52'
5 Afshin Peyrovani
11 Khodadad Azizi
6 Karim Bagheri Booked 75'
10 Ali Daei
2 Mehdi Mahdavikia Booked 61'
9 Hamid Reza Estili
20 Mehdi Pashazadeh
23 Naeem Saadavi Substituted off 70'
Substitutions:
GK 22 Nima Nakisa
15 Ali Akbar Ostad-Asadi Substituted in 84'
8 Majid Namjoo-Motlagh
25 Mehrdad Minavand
24 Javad Zarincheh
7 Ali Reza Mansourian Substituted in 65'
18 Ebrahim Tahami Substituted in 70' Substituted off 84' Booked 84'
Manager:
Brazil Valdeir Vieira

OFFICIALS

MATCH RULES

  • 90 minutes
  • 30 minutes of extra-time if necessary
  • Penalty shoot-out if scores still level:
  • 3 (of 7) substitutions permitted

Aftermath[edit]

Iran qualified for the 1998 FIFA World Cup Finals in France and were drawn into Group F with Germany, Yugoslavia and USA. After losing 1–0 to Yugoslavia in their opening match, Iran defeated USA 2–1 with goals from Estili and Mahdavikia. In the final match they lost 2–0 to Germany, finishing third in the group on three points.

Australia qualified for the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup as Oceania Nations Cup winners. The Socceroos were drawn into a group with Brazil, Mexico and host nation Saudi Arabia. In the opening match they defeated Mexico 3–1, then secured a memorable nil-all draw with World Cup holders Brazil. Australia lost the last match against Saudi Arabia 1–0, but still finished second in the group on four points, proceeding to the semi-final stage. Against Uruguay, a goal from Harry Kewell in extra time secured a 1–0 win and a place in the final against Brazil. Australia were crushed 6–0 by Brazil, leaving the side with the silver medal.

References[edit]

External links[edit]