Yibada – TEHRAN, Group D second-running team Iran (2-0-2, 8 points) is scheduled to face third-running Turkmenistan (2-2-1, 7 points) in a crucial match at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran on Thursday, November 12th, which could determine the fate of both squads in the second round of the AFC 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
The top two teams from each group will advance in the third round of competitions to still have a shot for a spot in the 2018 FIFA World Cup to be held in Russia.
Iran settled for a 1-1 draw against group leader Oman at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Muscat last October 8th, as per Soccerway.
Omani defender Saad Al-Mukhaini drew first blood at the 52nd minute after a goalless first half to scare Team Melli, but Iranian center back Jalal Hosseini answered back at the 70th to save the point in the overall standings for Carlos Queiroz’s side.
Turkmenistan defeated a hard-fighting Guam eleven, 1-0, at the KÃ¶petdag Stadium in Ashgabat last October 13th as Turkmen midfielder GuwanÃ§ Abylow provided the lone goal of the match right at the 16th minute, via AFC’s official website.
It was the second consecutive game that Abylow opened the scoring as he also netted his team’s first goal against India five days before.
Playing this match at their home field gives the Iranians an advantage over AmangylyÃ§ KoÃ§umow’s men and they will make the most out of it to fix their position in the top two of the group.
The predicted result is a 2-0 win for Iran.
Iran starting lineup (3-5-2 formation): Haghighi; Pouraliganji, Kanaani, Rezaeian; Hajsafi, Ebrahimi, Amiri, Ezzatolahi, Dejagah; Ghoochannejhad, Ansarifard
Turkmenistan starting lineup (4-4-2 formation): Orazmuhammedow; SÃ¶Ã½Ã¼now, Saparow, Hojaahmedow, Annaorazow; Amanow, Abylow, Astanow, GeworkÃ½an; Muhadow, AtaÃ½ew