AFC – HAMEDAN, Islamic Republic of Iran started their bid to qualify for the AFC U-16 Championship 2020 with a stunning 13-0 win over Maldives while Afghanistan and Palestine played to a 1-1 draw in Group C of the Qualifiers at the Hajbabaei Stadium on Wednesday.
Iran, champions in 2008, were simply unstoppable and will be favourites to win the automatic spot from the group to the Finals while Afghanistan and Palestine will have to raise their game if they are to stand a chance against the Central Asians.
Forward Amir Ebrahimzadeh starred with five goals as Iran raced to a 13-0 win over Maldives.
Ebrahimzadeh opened the scoring in the sixth minute and by the time the final whistle was blown, he had found the net four more times – in the 27th, 46th, 77th and 86th minutes.
Four players helped themselves to braces with striker Yadegar Rostami finding the back of the net in the 11th (penalty) and 48th minutes and midfielder Iman Danesh in the 26th and 43rd minutes.
Midfielder Fardin Bahri scored in the 30th and 40th minutes while striker Mohammad Reza Kooshki found the back of the net in the 58th and 72nd minutes.