Earlier in April 2016, the Iranian squad was seeded against South Korea, Uzbekistan, Syria, Qatar and China in group A of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Asian Qualifiers Final Round following the official draw which took place in Kuala Lumpur.
In the first encounter which took place on Thursday September 01, the Persian Cheetahs took on and thrashed Qatari rivals 2-0 in Tehran’s Azadi Sports Complex. Later on Tuesday September 06, Persian Cheetas lined up against the players of the Chinese national team at Shenyang Olympic Sports Center Stadium in Chinese city of Shenyang with both teams leaving the pitch with a scoreless draw.
On October 06, 2016, the Iranian outfit defeated Uzbek rivals 1-0 in Bunyodkor Stadium of Tashkent before overcoming South Korea with the same result on 11 October in Azadi Stadium, Tehran. Carlos Queiroz’s boys however ended their fixture against Syria with a draw on November 15, 2016m in Tuanku Abdul Rahman Stadium in Seremban of Malaysia as a third-party host.
The Iranian outfit is scheduled to compete against Qatar on March 23 in Doha’s Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium and later take up Chinese rivals on 28th March, 2017 in Azadi Stadium in the two upcoming contests. Accordingly, Carlos Queiroz, Portuguese manager of Iran's national football team, released an early roster of players for the match against the two Asian teams.
Mohammadreza Akhbari, Alireza Beiranvand, Mohammad Rashid Mazaheri, Ramin Rezaeian, Pouria Ghafouri, Pejman Montazeri, Seyed Jalal Hosseini, Morteza Pourali Ganji, Mohammad Ansari, Masoud Ebrahimzadeh, Ehsan Hajisafi, Omid Ebrahimi, Ezatollah Pourghaz, Mehdi Torabi, Morteza Tabrizi, Sasan Ansari, Ehsan Pahlavan, Mehdi Taromi as well as Vahid Amiri have been invited by Carlos Queiroz for the forthcoming qualifier matches.
While Iran’s head coach has shifted from his previous position by inviting Persepolis players to the training camp, the name of Soroush Rafiei, who is a creative player of Persepolis, is still missing on the roster.
The final roster to be released after the training camp on March 19 is expected to contain list of Iranian players who are now working with European teams.