Wednesday, June 13, 2012

13 June 1976 - Iran All Over Asia

On 13 June 1976, Iran won their third straight Asian Cup, beating Kuwait 0-1 in Tehran.

The 1976 Final was the most comfortable win of the three. In 1968, they needed an 86th-minute strike from midfielder Parviz Ghelichkhani to beat Israel 2-1. And they went to extra time in 1972 to beat South Korea 2-1 with a goal from striker Hossein Kalani in the 108th minute.

In 1976, Iran and Kuwait both made it to the final with perfect records, as Kuwait had wins over China, Malaysia, and Iraq, while Iran defeated South Yemen, Iraq, and China.

The two teams met at Tehran's Aryamehr Stadium, where a crowd of over 100,000 gathered to watch them struggle through a scoreless first half and most of the second. Then, in the 71st minute, Persepolis midfielder Ali Parvin found the net for the day's only goal. It was his first of the tournament and only his seventh for the national team, despite playing for them since 1970.

Kuwait exacted their revenge the following tournament, knocking Iran out in the semifinals before winning the title in 1980. To date, that remains the last final for either team, as the competition has since been dominated by Saudi Arabia and Japan. Parvin, meanwhile, later managed the Iranian national team from 1989 to 1993.

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