Iran, Aspire win as Singapore, Malaysia leave U21 tourney

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Iranian players hammered Singaporean rivals 3-0 in Group A at the Thanh Nien-sponsored Under-21 International Football Competition 2011 in Pleiku City of the Central Highland province of Gia Lai Tuesday.

The Singaporean U21s started the game in high spirits but the Iranian contestants had better control of the match since the beginning.

Iran's superiority earned them the lead midway through the first half after Behnam Barzay Khodadad took a neat pass from Ali Zeri and scored the opener.

Despite the inferior side, Singaporean players deserved to be praised for their efforts, even though they failed to score a goal.

The Iranians continued to play exceptionally in the second half and Amin Jahan and Ali Zeri scored two more goals for the west Asians.

The defeat to Iran sent Singaporean players home since they had lost 1-3 to Thailand in their first group stage match two days earlier.

The young Iranian footballers will fight Thailand on Thursday for the top spot of Group B.

In Group A, young players from Qatar's football academy Aspire beat Malaysia 2-1. The Malaysian U21s also had to say goodbye because they had lost 0-2 to hosts Vietnam in the opener.

The ongoing fifth edition of the annual invitational contest ends on October 4.

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