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Gao Hongbo sees improvement from China in goalless draw with Iran

Gao Hongbo stopped short of criticising the referee after his China side picked up their first point of the final phase of Asia's World Cup qualifying campaign on Tuesday with a 0-0 draw with Iran in Shenyang.

China lost their opening game against South Korea 3-2 on Thursday and could not afford to slip up again against Carlos Queiroz's team.

Gao was pleased his side had emerged with something from a difficult start to their attempt qualify for Russia, though he declined to comment on claims China...

 By Paul Murphy

Thailand teenager Supachok sparks Buriram as coach Ghotbi exits

ESPN FC's Jason Dasey and John Wilkinson discuss the latest happenings in Thai football, where Buriram fired coach Afshin Ghotbi and Charyl Chappuis has returned to the Thailand squad.

Narubadin Weerawatnodom hailed Buriram United's fighting spirit as a 2-1 victory at Army United took them a step closer to clinching third spot in the Premier League of Thailand (PLT).

However, the reigning champions will need a new head coach to take them over the line after the sensational announcement of Afshin Ghotbi's departure following his side's win.

Elsewhere, Bangkok United dropped what could be a crucial two points as they drew 1-1 at Nakhon Ratchasima, while league leaders Muang Thong...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Iran's Afshin Ghotbi sacked by Thai champions Buriram after three months

ESPN FC's Jason Dasey and John Wilkinson discuss the latest happenings in Thai football, where Buriram fired coach Afshin Ghotbi and Charyl Chappuis has returned to the Thailand squad.

After only three months in the job, former Iran head coach Afshin Ghotbi has been sacked by Premier League of Thailand champions Buriram United.

Ghotbi was shown the door on Saturday night, despite guiding Buriram to a 2-1 victory at Army United FC.

The win took the Thunder Castle to third on the table -- the top three in Thailand have a chance at playing in the AFC Champions League -- but the club are 19 points behind leaders, Muang Thong United.

Ghotbi was only appointed in May, taking over from...

 By Gabriel Tan

Singapore put in battling display but lose to Iran in FAS Under-21 final

Singapore U21 team
Singapore U21 have now lost on three consecutive occasions against Iran, dating back to March.

Hosts Singapore turned in a battling display but came up short in the inaugural FAS Under-21 International Challenge Cup after they were beaten 1-0 by Iran in Saturday night's final at Bishan Stadium.

Mehdi Mehdikhani grabbed the only goal of the game shortly after the half-hour mark to win it for the Iranians, although they did have to weather some late pressure as the hosts searched desperately for an equaliser.

The defeat means Singapore are have now lost their past three meetings against Iran...

 By John Duerden

Iran's Sardar Azmoun has the potential to become better than Ali Daei

Sardar Azmoun is one of the top young players in the world.

Nobody has scored more international goals than Iran legend Ali Daei. Indeed, the image of the striker wheeling away in celebration is forever stuck in the memory of a generation of fans in Asia.

Daei, who deserves his global status, found the net an amazing 109 times in 149 games before his international retirement in 2006. It is a record that could last forever, though it could also be broken by a young compatriot.

Sardar Azmoun has some time to go before we can think about records, but the 21-year-old...