Wilmots names Team Melli for first match in qualifiers

TEHRAN, Aug. 31 (MNA) – Team Melli’s head coach Marc Wilmots has announced the 23-men squad for the team’s first game in qualifiers of 2022 World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup against Hong Kong.

Team Melli is pooled in Group C of the second round of qualifiers alongside Iraq, Bahrain, Hong Kong and Cambodia.

Iran will start the campaign on September 10 with an away match against Hong Kong. The team will then host Cambodia on October 10 before facing Bahrain on October 15. 

Here is the list of invited players:

Goalkeepers:

Alireza Beiranvand (Persepolis), Mohammad Rashid Mazaheri (Tractor), Seyyed Hossein Hosseini (Esteghlal)

Defenders:

Ramin Rezaeian (Al-Shahania SC), Milad Mohammadi (Gent), Vouria Ghafouri (Esteghlal), Mohammadhossein Kananizadegan (Persepolis), Majid Hosseini (Trabzonspor), Mohammad Naderi (Persepolis), Siavash Yazdani (Esteghlal), Ehsan Haji Safi (Tractor), Morteza Pouraliganji (Al-Arabi),

Midfielders:

Omid Ebrahimi (Qatar’s Al Ahli), Masoud Shojaei (Tractor), Ahmad Nourollahi (Persepolis), Ali Karimi (Esteghlal), Vahid Amiri (Persepolis)

Strikers:

Mehdi Taremi (Rio Ave), Sardar Azmoun (Zenit St. Petersburg), Mehdi Torabi (Persepolis), , Alireza Jahanbakhsh (Brighton), Karim Ansarifard (Al-Sailiya), and Allahyar Sayyadmanesh (Fenerbahce)

In this stage, 40 teams are divided into eight groups of five teams to play home-and-away round-robin matches. The eight group winners and four best runners-up will advance to the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Finals and the final round of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 where they will be divided into two groups of six. The two top teams of each group bring home the quota for FIFA World Cup while third teams will compete for a playoff match against a yet-to-be-determined team from another continent.

The second round of qualifications will start on September 5, 2019, and will wrap up on June 9, 2020.

The next best 24 teams from the second round of the joint qualifiers will compete in a separate competition for the remaining 12 slots in the 24-team AFC Asian Cup China 2023.

MAH/ 4706697

News Code 149497

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