ASIAN CUP 2019
Iran have too much for China as they march on to the semi-final
Iran march on to the semi-final of the Asian Cup for the first time since 2004 thanks to goals from Taremi, Azmoun and a late finisher from Ansarifard.
China 0-3 Iran: match report
China bowed out of the Asian Cup 2019 thanks to three defensive mistakes albeit against a well-organised and energetic Iran side.
Carlos Queiroz, who saw his side crash out at the same stage in 2015, was keen to ensure they learned from their mistakes that time around. And it was the Iranians who forced the errors that changed the game on Thursday afternoon in Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium.
Mehdi Taremi struck first after the indefatigable sardar Azmoun chased down a long ball and forced the Chinese defence to panic and hesitate. It was as easy a goal as Taremi will get after his teammated plated it for him in front of goal.
Azmoun turned goalscorer after another moment of panic for China at the back. He raced through, rounded the keeper and slotted home to put the game even in its early stages out of reach of a poor China side.
Marcelo Lippi's time as a manager might be drawing to a close and he will be upset that he couldn't do anything to affect the game. He made two changes in the first half but China continue to lump it forward with no end product.
Substitute, Karim Ansarifard wrapped it up when he scored in stoppage time as Iran march on to the semi-final for the first time since 2004.
China vs Iran live online: Asian Cup 2019 updates
90' Ansarifard with the finish. He broke through after a poor touch by the Chinese defender and that really is a nice finish.
85' Iran just shutting up shop now. Azmoun replaced by Ansarifard.
83' Iran trying to end it here with a third. But the pass threaded through to Azmoun is cut out.
80' Big chance and possibly China's last. Played through to Yu Dabao as he cuts out to the left and strikes. He blazes it wide. Really wide. But well done to get into the effort.
77' Xiao Zhi is booked now for a later arm to the head of Pouraliganji.
77' Lippi is going to have to do something here because China's tactic of launching it into the box and hoping for the best is not working.
74' Dejagah off now, the captain, and he is replaced by Cheshmi.
74' Iran answer that with their own change as Carlos Quieroz gives him his last change.
74' One last change for China. Wu Lei is replaced by Yu Dabao.
72' Another free for Iran and it's sent in with Zhao Xuri heads away. Throw for Iran.
69' Crossed in and Bieranvand it out to fist it away.
69' Handball by Iran's Dejagah as China cross another one in. They haven't had a shot on target. Maybe they can change that now.
68' Jahanbakhsh is replaced by Ghoddos.
66' Late slide there by Taremi and he catches the Chinese player. He gets booked and he is absolutely fuming. Taremi misses the next game.
63' Way to much pace on that from Wu. Decen idea but he whipped it in behind and it's out for a goal kick. China going down without landing a blow.
61' Corner as Azmoun greets it in the area. Headed over.
60' Yan gets down to his left to prevent that from going into the corner.
60' Hajsafi with the effort now as Iran continue to pour it on.
59' Xuri with a chance now. No chance as it bobbles wide. They haven't had a proper chance on goal yet.
58' Iran effort now as Taremi fires one in. Keeper grabs it quite comfortably.
58' Nice low cross into the box and China have a chance. Iran struggling to get it away.
57' Headed over by Kanaani.
56' Good slide from Zhang as he breaks up another Iran attack. Out for a throw.
55' We are back underway.
54' Head injuries for the two players after a clash.
54' Two players on the ground now as Xiao ends up on the ground along with Pouraliganji.
53' Free now for China. They can whip it in from the left.
51' Taremi misses after sustained pressure from Iran. They are the better team here and every time they attack, they look dangerous.
50' Iran's first attack of the half and all of a sudden, China's shaky defence returns. They concede the corner but they seem scarred after those two mistakes in the first half.
48' Talk maybe of a push in the back but China barely call for it and it's never going to be given.
48' Cross and headed over in the end by Xiao Zhi.
48' Good cross from the left now as China improve. Sent in again and cleared just as quick.
46' Rezaeian down grabbing his lower leg after Gao catches him. Not sure he even hit him really.
46' We are back underway for the second half.
Teams emerge back onto the field. China need a miracle.
45'+2' Corner comes to nothing after Iran work it short.
45'+1' He's lifted off the turf by his teammates.
45'+1' What a first half he has had.
45'+1' Azmoun with a cross now and it's blocked out for a corner. He's exhausted.
45' Wu Lei with a nice run at an angle and he knows the defender has a good position on him. He tries the chip anyway and it's wide.
44' Iran with 57% so far.
43' China are improving here but that might be designed by Iran. They're taking a breather before the break.
42' China launch another one forward but the attacker is well offside. It doesn't make it to him anyway and play continues. Zhang crosses and Beiranvand saves it.
41' Another ball flicked on and Iran causing more problems. This time it's Taremi putting the pressure on but China clear.
39' Azmoun through again and Shi loses out in a race again. The striker has been excellent so far and wins a throw now.
38' Offside from China. It was a late flag but it eventually comes. Touch wasn't good enough anyway by Wu Xi.
36' Better from China. Ball sent in from the left and it's cleared by Pouraliganji.
36' Iran moving the ball forward again. But they lose out as Jahanbakhsh strikes and it's blocked.
34' China need a response here. They had that one chances earlier but nothing since.
30' Referee is going to VAR though. We will know soon if it is 2-0 or not. As of now, I think it does look like a fair goal.
30' Azmoun winning 2-0. Azmoun with his 28th goal for Iran and his 4th in the Asian Cup. More poor defending from China as the ball is launched forward and Azmoun chases it down.
27' Feng for Xiao as China make another change. Not even half an hour in and China have made two of their changes.
26' Taremi misses. That was a golden chance. Free sent in and it's the back post, touched on for Taremi. That really should be 2-0.
26' Wu is replaced by Xuri.
24' China struggling to work it out from their back. And they'll make a change.
22' Tough decision. Looked like he might have been going down before the contact was made. 50-50. Would have understand had it been given.
21' He's hauled down and the referee says no. The referee is indeed gone to VAR.
21' Azmoun plays it into Taremi and surely that's a penalty.
19' Iran looking for more. Azmoun bullies his way into the box and there's a shot that comes in. Hits a Chinese player and the ref has a check with VAR to make sure there was no hand ball. He waves it away and Iran continue with a throw.
17' GOAL! Taremi scores. China caught out on the break. Feng doesn't clear his lines and he lets Azmoun a chance to win it back. The attacker squares to Taremi and he won't have a handier finish for a while. 1-0.
16' Ball out to the left. Nice pass and it's sent back in via a cross. That's over the head of everyone and China kick it out for a throw.
14' Yan grabs the cross with some clean hands. He came out fairly far to grab it too. Confident keeping.
12' Jahanbakhsh was down there getting treatment but he's okay now and play continues.
12' Jahanbakhsh tries a shot but a Chinese defender catches his left as he goes to strike. Foul on the Iranian attacker.
11' Iran all over China now. They play it forward again and China scramble away for a throw.
10' Hajsafi sends it in. Azmoun with the header. Perfect placement but the defender clears it.
10' Corner Iran. Their first chance to send it in and test China's set-piece defending.
10' Nice combination in the middle for Iran and they attack down the left before switching it up and sending it down the right. Rezaeian wins a corner.
9' Great atmosphere tonight in Abu Dhabi.
8' Jahanbakhsh causing problems again on the right. He has a Chinese player in his face though and it's put behind for a goal kick.
8' Iran with the run of things so far.
7' Iran up the other end now and China clear.
5' What a chance. China make it down the right-hand side. Offside given but Hao was onside. He sent it across goal but he should have driven it at goal.
4' Throw for Iran and they are improving now. Ball sent across to Jahanbakhsh and he sends it back towards goal first time. Azmoun very, very close to getting something on that. Nice chance.
2' They finally do get it up the field and have a nice chance down the left. Hajsafi with the shoulder charge on the defender and gets whistled for being too strong.
2' Iran free. Still has barely been out of the Iranians half.
2' Gao Lin with a foul on Kanaani as he tries to clear.
1' Beiranvand plays the ball forward and Iran try to start an attack. Hectic start with neither team getting their foot on the ball.
1' Iran with the ball and the first thing the defender does is launch it up the field.
1' We are underway as the countdown runs out of numbers.
The two captains exchanging handshakes now and we are nearly ready for action.
Marcelo Lippi took over the China role from Luiz Felipe Scolari in 2016. He has managed China for just 29 games and lost 10.
Quieroz took over Iran in April 2011. He has managed 97 games and lost just 12. He brought them to the 2015 Asian Cup where they lost to Iraq after a controversial red card! They would eventually lose on penalties. Can they go one step further today?
This game should be tactically fascinating. Lippi versus Quieroz.
Iran's Azmoun has recorded 22 shots in his four games in the 2019 Asian Cup; two more than any other player at the tournament. Expect him to shot a lot today but it depends on how Queiroz attacks this game. Iran are the better side and Lippi has almost said that but they are quite defensive and won't be going all out attack at any stage. Probably a more calm and considered approach from them.
Iran XI: Beiranvand, Kanani, Rezaeian, Haji Safi, Dejagah, Ebrahimi, Jahanbakhsh, Pouraliganji, Azmoun, Taremi.
China XI: Junling, Chengdong, Xiaoting, Shi Ke, Yiming, Zhi (c), Wu Xi, Yang, Lin, Junmin, Lei.
China have failed to beat Iran in their previous six Asian Cup encounters (D4 L2), although they did progress to the 2004 Asian Cup final after a 4-3 win on penalties in the semi-final.
Hello and welcome to our live online coverage of the Asian Cup quarer-final between China and Iran from Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium. Kick-off at 17:00 CET.
China vs Iran live online: preview
Iran lost to neighbours, Iraq, in 2015 when the got knocked out at the same stage of the same competition in a penalty shoot-out and Carlos Quieroz is keen that his side draw on the "lessons we have learned" in an effort to put them to use. They have a fresh chance to win the Asian Cup having won it three times in a row from 1968 to 1976 and not since. They have suffered heartbreak of all different sorts and play China, a side who have never won it, at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium with kick-off on Thursday at 17:00 CET.
China have made it to the final of the Asian Cup just once in their history. They lost that final 3-1 to Japan but they stormed through the group stages before losing to South Korea in the last group game. They subsequently beat Thailand 2-1 in the last 16 game with thanks to goals from Zhi Xiao and Lin Gao. They had to come back in that game after conceding in the first half and they'll be hoping they don't have to pull off such a nercy manoeuvre in the quarter final. Marcelo Lippi might be without Wu Lei for the game as he nurses a shoulder injury.
Iran are ranked 88th in the world and Lippi says of them that they are "physically very strong, organised and have very good quality." We got a good look at them in the World Cup when they beat Morocco and drew with Portugal while holding Spain to just one goal and made it very difficult for them. They are unbeaten in the Asian Cup with two victories and a win in the group stages over Yemen and Vietnam before drawing with Iraq. They would go on to beat Oman 2-0 in the last 16 and will be looking to progress beyond the quarter-final for the first time since 2004.
Key Opta Facts
- China have failed to beat Iran in their previous six Asian Cup encounters (D4 L2), although they did progress to the 2004 final after a 4-3 win on penalties in the last four.
- China have only kept one clean sheet in their last 11 knockout games, a 3-0 win against Iraq in the 2004 quarter-finals.
- Iran have kept clean sheets in their opening four games at the 2019 Asian Cup (also Qatar); only South Korea have kept shutouts in the first five games at an Asian Cup tournament (five in 2015).
- Since the start of the 2004 Asian Cup, Iran have only lost one of their 22 games in the competition, excluding penalty shoot-outs (W14 D7 L1), a 1-0 defeat to South Korea in the 2011 last eight.
- Iran's Azmoun has recorded 22 shots in his four games in the 2019 Asian Cup; two more than any other player at the tournament.