Iran 0-0 Qatar: Team Melli frustrated at Azadi Stadium

Javad Nekounam went the closest to breaking the deadlock when he hit the woodwork as Qatar's resolute defence held on for a handy point on the road
Qatar have produced a determined defensive performance to hold out for a goalless draw away to Iran in their 2014 World Cup qualifier in Tehran on Tuesday evening.

In a game where quality chances were few and far beaten, the visitors defended with numbers behind the ball, as they claimed another point on the road, after winning earlier in their final round campaign away to Lebanon.

Team Melli were left frustrated by Paulo Autuori's defensive approach, with Qatari goalkeeper Qasem Burhan winning man-of-the-match honours, although Iran arguably failed to test him enough.

After Karim Ansarifard screwed a shot wide on 20 minutes and Fabio Cesar shot straight at Iran keeper Mehdi Rahmati, it was Osasuna midfielder Javad Nekounam who went the closest of anyone.

Hossein Mahini launched a long throw into the penalty area and the ball found its way through to Nekounam who acrobatically volleyed an effort over Burhan but into the crossbar on the half hour mark.

Qatar defender Marcone Amaral headed a Fabio Cesar corner straight at Rahmati five minutes later, while Ansarifard failed to seriously test Burhan with a header when found unmarked in the box.

Chances were harder to find in the second 45 as Qatar dropped more men behind the ball, although Khalfan Ibrahim broke into the box, only to fire into the side netting in a rare venture forward.

Iranian Pro League topscorer Ansarifard had an effort on goal deflected wide by a desperate Marcone tackle, as the hosts struggled to break open Qatar, despite Ali Karimi's best efforts with the Persepolis man produced several moments of individual skill.

An 89th-minute altercation between Fabio Cesar and Mohammed Reza Khalatbari threatened to boil over into a melee, before late chances were wasted.

Substitute Ashkan Dejagah fired an injury-time free kick well over the crossbar when well positioned for Iran, before Ibrahim Majid did likewise from long range in the dying moments as it ended 0-0.

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