- Allahyar Sayyad and Younes Delfi have formed a formidable attacking partnership for Iran
- The pair played their part in Iran's biggest win at a U-17 World Cup
- Both players are good friends off the pitch as well
Allahyar Sayyad and Younes Delfi appeared to be inseparable on Tuesday evening, choosing to stand beside each other to answer questions from journalists in the mixed zone after their second Group C match. On the pitch, they were working so well together that Germany’s defenders could well have had nightmares about them in their sleep.
Iran’s resounding 4-0 victory - their biggest win in tournament history - allowed them to book their place in the Round of 16, putting them firmly among the favourites to lift the FIFA U-17 World Cup trophy and giving their opponents plenty to think about. “We didn’t have a good game today, and our limitations were exposed in many situations,” said Germany coach Christian Wuck after the match.
After catching up with the two Iranian marksmen in the labyrinthine corridors of the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa, FIFA.com suggests two reasons why the pair work so well together.
Goals against Germany: 1
Tournament goals: 2
Goals against Germany: 2
Assists against Germany: 1
Tournament goals: 2
Having spent the past two years playing alongside each other for the Iranian national youth team, Delfi and Sayyad get on just as well off the pitch as they do on it, communicating regularly and conscientiously preparing for the task ahead. “We spend a long time talking to each other before each match and work out a game plan,” said Sayyad. “We always go through the details one more time and don’t like to leave anything to chance,” he added, providing a vital insight into their successful collaboration. “Allahyar is a warrior in attack. He never gives up, is always hungry to score goals and is very quick,” said Delfi in praise of his likeable strike partner, before adding: “Knowing each other’s strengths helps us to work well together.” This was particularly apparent when Sayyad met Delfi’s cross with a powerful header for the third goal.
"Germany have defensive problems,” said Iran coach Chamanian Abbas after the match. “They have a very good team and are strong going forward, but we knew that if we could contain their attack, we would get our chances and could hurt them at the back.” Of course, having two players in your ranks capable of implementing your plans so effectively is a gift for any coach. “The boss said we had to use the space between their central defenders and between midfield and defence – and I think we did that very well,” said Sayyad with a grin. Indeed they did. The pair repeatedly pushed on into these gaps and made smart runs through the backline, forcing Germany's defenders into too many mistakes and creating an array of goalscoring opportunities.