AFC – TEHRAN, Mehdi Taremi fired a hat-trick as Islamic Republic of Iran defeated Syria 5-0 in an international friendly at the Azadi Stadium on Thursday.
Both teams are preparing for the second round of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 Joint Qualification which kicks off in September but Iran were in a class of their own as new head coach Marc Wilmots got off to a winning start.
Alireza Jahanbakhsh scored Iran’s opening goal in the 30th minute and Taremi doubled their lead just seven minutes later.
Any hope Syria had of a comeback were dashed in the 57th minute as Taremi scored his second of the night for Asia’s top-ranked team, who made the semi-finals of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.
Taremi, however, wasn’t done as he completed his hat-trick in the 77th minute and Allahyar Sayyadmanesh completed the win with his strike just before the final blow of the referee’s whistle.
Next up for Iran is an enticing friendly with Korea Republic in Seoul on Tuesday. Korea Republic play Australia in a friendly in Busan on Friday.
Syria, meanwhile, will play Uzbekistan in Tashkent on Tuesday.