Iran wins Iraq, advances to next stage as Group C leader

TEHRAN, Jun. 15 (MNA) – National Iranian men's football team defeated Iraq 1-0 to gain the top spot at the Group C of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023.

The match between Iran and Iraq national football teams ended minutes ago at the Sheikh Ali bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Stadium in Bahrain.

National Iranian men's football team which is also called Team Melli in Iran won its traditional rival Iraq 1-0 to top the Group C of the FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

Iran was pitted against host Bahrain, Hong Kong, Cambodia and Iraq in Group C and now leads the group.

Forward Sardar Azmoun scored the only goal of the match at minute 35 for the Iranian side.

According to the website of the Asian Football Federation (AFC), the win completed a remarkable turnaround for Team Melli, who won all four of their matches following the resumption of the Asian Qualifiers and keeps them on track for a third consecutive appearance at the FIFA World Cup Finals.

The pressure was definitely on the Iranians, who needed victory to emerge group winners, and all eyes were on Sardar Azmoun and Mehdi Taremi who have been in fine form since the Asian Qualifiers resumed.

The pressure was definitely on the Iranians, who needed victory to emerge group winners, and all eyes were on Sardar Azmoun and Mehdi Taremi who have been in fine form since the Asian Qualifiers resumed.

Iran's persistence was rewarded in the 35th minute, with captain Ehsan Hajsafi beating the offside trap on the left wing before sending the ball to a surging Azmoun to tap home the opening goal from close range.

Iraq had a chance to draw equal moments before the half-time break through a corner kick but Ahmad Ibrahim's header lacked the strength to beat Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand.

Iraq switched gears at the start of the second half and just two minutes in, Bashar Resan displayed some fine footwork before unleashing a strike that forced Beiranvand into making a save.

Azmoun and Taremi continued to press forward and a counter in the 73rd minute gave Iran an opening but FC Zenit striker Azmoun was unable to beat Iraqi goalkeeper Jalal Hassan.

It wasn't to prove costly though as Iran held on for the win to advance to the final round on the Road to Qatar 2022.

KI

News Code 174858

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