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Champions League Draw

Published on March 19, 2010 by in UEFA


Olympique Lyon Bordeaux
Bayern Munich
Manchester United
Arsenal Barcelona
Inter
CSKA Moscow

Goal.com – The Champions League quarter-final draw has been completed in Nyon, with Arsenal against Barcelona the undoubted tie of the round.

Elsewhere, there is an all French clash as Lyon will play Bordeaux, Bayern Munich will tackle Manchester United, while Inter will pit their wits against CSKA Moscow.

The path to the final at the Santiago Bernabeu was all mapped out, with the draw also made for the two semi finals.

The winner of Bayern and Man Utd will play the victor of Lyon and Bordeaux in one semi, while the other last four clash will feature the winner of Inter and CSKA Moscow versus the winner of Arsenal and Barcelona.

The first leg of each quarter final tie will be played on March 30-31, while the second leg will take place on April 6-7.

Stay tuned with Goal.com today as we will have all the news reaction, as well as editorial pieces on each of the remaining eight Champions League teams.

 
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ShortKicks

Published on March 18, 2010 by in Afshin Afshar, Iran

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News summaries from around the league

Afshin Afshar (lastkick.com) – The soup opera that is the Iranian football manages to catch you by surprise just when expect it least. Here are a few examples: 

Two weeks ago rumors surfaced that IFF Chief Ali Kaffashian was interviewing foreign coaches including Turkish manager Fatih Terim for a possible replacement for Afshin Ghotbi. The initial reaction out of IFF was denial, but then Kaffashian came out on Tuesday and admitted that there was contact made with a few foreign coaches, but “the National Team Coaches of all age categories will continue to remain in their current positions”! 

What does this mean? Does it mean that IFF is actively searching for a replacement for Ghotbi? What was the Terim conversation all about? Was the position offered to Terim and he said no? 

The two most decorated men in Iranian futsal are engaged in an ugly public fight. Last week National Futsal Team Coach Hossein Shams went the popular TV program “90” and slammed Foolad Mahan and National Team star Vahid Shamsaei. The following day, an obviously surprised Shamsaei went on a public counter attack, and the fight has been going on since. From far away it seems like Coach Shams does not appreciate having to share Iran’s futsal honors with the much decorated Shamsei who recently won the best player award of the AFC Club Futsal Championship. 

Former Perspolis Goalkeepers Coach Ahmadreza Abedzadeh was fired after Ali Daei took over earlier in the year. He then rightfully sued for the remainder of his salary. Perspolis then decided to bring back in the hope of not having to pay him damages I suppose. But then Ali Daei publicly announced that Abedzadeh, a very popular football personality in Iran, could help move the nets around, but had no place in his coaching staff, so Abedzadeh refused to show up in the Perspolis workout yesterday. Abedzadeh claims that Perspolis owes him $41K in delayed pay. 

Steel Azin Co, a company owned by Hossein Hedayati, who incidentally owns Steel of Azin FC, purchased 34% of Tractor Sazi of Tebriz rights, making Hedayati the boss in two competing IPL clubs.

 
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Messi lays down challenge to Rooney with masterclass

Published on March 17, 2010 by in UEFA

Messi scored twice and set up another for Barcelona

Scott Rutherford (TimesOnline)

Lionel Messi served notice last night that Wayne Rooney will not have it his own way when it comes to the Fifa World Player of the Year award.

The Argentina forward showcased his sublime talents with a masterclass to inspire Barcelona into the Champions League quarter-finals at the expense of Stuttgart. Messi struck a brilliant opener after 13 minutes to put the holders on track, then played a key role as Pedro Rodríguez made it 2-0 just after the half-hour.

Messi, who was a constant menace, added a third in the 60th minute to take his tally to eight goals in his past four games before Bojan Krkic, a substitute, completed the romp as Barcelona became Spain’s only representative to reach the last eight.

Real Madrid, whose Bernabéu stadium will stage this year’s final, and Seville were dumped out in the round of 16, and Atlético Madrid bade farewell to the competition after the group stage. Read more…

 
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ShortKicks

Published on March 16, 2010 by in Afshin Afshar, Iran

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The mad mad world of Iranian football calendar

Afshin Afshar (lastkick.com) – Well, well, well …. Here we are again, only a few short months from another World Cup and guess what? We are not in it. Come to think of it, there may be some silver lining to that. Watching the World Cup without the stress and aggravation that come with another Team Melli flop in a major tournament may not be such bad thing after all!

Besides all the good things that come in a World Cup year, there are also the condensed domestic and continental league schedules. FIFA requires all the domestic and continental leagues to be completed one month or so before the tournament so that the national teams get to have their players in camp in time for the necessary preparations. 

Of course this rule also applies to the Iranian Professional League, but wait! How can we accomplish that in Iran when we have two weeks off for the Persian New Year?   

Here is the answer; two Hazfi Cup matches will be played this Thursday, three days before the New Year. Then the Asian Champions League matches kick in three days after the Persian New Year from March 23 through March 31. After that Round 30 of the leagues will be played (April 3 and 4) followed by another round of the AFC Champions League matches on April 23 and 14. On April 16 and 18 Round 31 of the IPL will be completed, followed by AFC Champions League matches on April 27 and 28. 

Are you still with me? Good because that is as far as I know. The schedules for the remaining three rounds of IPL and the Hazfi Cup matches have not been announced yet. But the Round of 16 of the AFC Champions League has been scheduled for May 11 and 12. 

Aren’t you glad we are not in the World Cup this year? Imagine having to send the Team Melli to South Africa after a schedule like this.

 
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Iranian Professional League: Round 29 (Final Day) Results

Iranian Pro League

Afshin Afshar (lastkick.com) – Round 29 of the Iranian Professional League concluded on Monday with two matches that may prove to have significant effects on both ends of the table.    

Foolad of Khuzestan 0 – 4 Mes of Kerman

Mes of Kerman, who are flirting with relegation, stepped up to the occasion and handed Foolad of Khuzestan a convincing 4-0 trashing in Ahvaz and pulled themselves out of the drop zone, at least for now.

Farzad Ashubi opened the scoring for Mes in 25th minute, striker Ali completed a double by scoring two goals in the second half, one shortly after the other (60` and 65`), and Brazilian Paolo Da Silva netted a forth one less than ten minutes to go.

Foolad did not have much to say in response, except Assistant Coach Kourosh Bakhtiari who apparently said too much to the referee and was ejected from the sidelines.   

 

Esteghlal of Tehran 1 – 0 Pas of Hamadan

Esteghlal hosted Pas in Tehran. The Tehran Blues needed a win to keep pace with leaders Sepahan and close the gap with their archrivals Perspolis who are in third place. 

Both team played a cautious game in the first half and failed to create many chances. However, in the second half the Blues took the initiative and created a number of serious scoring opportunities by speeding up the pace of the game and attacking from wings. It was Captain Farhad Majidi that once again played the hero’s role and scored the winning goal off a Mohsen Yousefi cross. 

Esteghlal continued to attack, but failed to extend their lead. 

The Blues are now in fourth place with 49 points and trailing Perspolis by one. Leaders Sepahan have 59 followed by Zob-Ahan with 53 points.

 
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Iranian Professional League: Round 29 (Day Two) Results

Iranian Pro League

Sepahan 2 – 0  Shahin  

Leaders Sepahan established their position at the top of the table by a 2-0 victory over Shahin of Bushehr at home in Isfahan.

Sepahan’s Senegalese striker Ibrahim Toure scored one of the leagues fastest goals when he hit home two minutes into the match. Ahmad Jamshidian doubled the lead in the second half and Isfahan were never in danger after that.

Sepahan Coach Amir Ghalehnoei called the match a step to the right direction despite admitting that his team’s performance was more to be desired. He went on to blame their drop in form to the fatigue caused by the demands of competing in three tournaments.  
 

Rah-Ahan 0 – 0 Zob-Ahan 

Runner ups Zob-Ahan were delivered a blow to their title chances when they were held to a goalless draw by mid-table residents Rah-Ahan in Tehran. Six points now separate them with leaders Sepahan with six rounds to go.

There are two matches scheduled for Monday, March 15. Foolad of Khuzestan will host Mes of Kerman in Ahvaz and Esteghlal of Tehran will host Pas in Tehran.

 
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Foolad Mahan 5-2 Al Sadd

Published on March 12, 2010 by in Futsal, Video

Foolad Mahan collected another honor for Iranian Futsal by defeating Al Sadd of Qatar in the inaugural AFC Futsal Club Championship final.

Watch all the goals here:

 
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Captain Fantastic

Published on March 12, 2010 by in Futsal, Iran

Vahid Shamsaei

 
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