Team Melli defeats Turkmenistan in World Cup qualifier

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Persianfootball.com – TEHRAN, Iran celebrated a well-deserved victory over Turkmenistan in the World Cup 2018 and Asian Cup 2019 qualifier on Thursday afternoon in Tehran’s Azadi Stadium.

The Iranian national team had to play against Turkmenistan without several key players. Teymourian (visa issues regarding the upcoming Guam qualifier), Jalal Hosseini and Sardar Azmoun (both injuries) couldn’t participate in Tehran.

Iran started well and dominated the match in the first half. Morteza Pouraliganji scored the well-deserved lead for Iran in the 7th minute with a stunning header after a brilliant corner by Ashkan Dejagah.

Iran created further opportunities to extend the lead. A Dejagah volley (9’) was denied by the Turkmenistan goalkeeper and shots by Ebrahimi (34’) and Rezaei (41’) barely missed the goal.

The second half started with a spell of pressure for Turkmenistan. Dejagah’s shot hit the post, Iran striker Rezaei (50’) and Torabi (52’) amateurishly missed their chances to score from close range.

Turkmenistan shocked Iran as Iran goalkeeper Haghighi misjudged a corner and Saparov could easily score the equalizer for Turkmenistan (62’).

Iran’s answer didn’t keep the fans waiting as Ezzatollahi abandoned three defenders and scored the 2-1 lead for Iran (64’).

Iran was awarded a penalty kick after Ghoochannejhad was fouled in the penalty area. Dejagah took the penalty and defeat the goalkeeper easily (83’).

Iran is now leading the group D with 11 points together with Oman.

IRAN – Turkmenistan 3-1 (1-0)
World Cup/Asian Cup qualifier, Tehran Azadi Stadium

Goals:
1-0 Pouraliganji (6’/assist by Dejagah)

1-1 Saparov (62’)

2-1 Ezzatollahi (64’)

3-1 Dejagah (83’/penalty)

Bookings:
Ebrahimi, Amanov

IRAN:
Haghighi – Rezaeian, Pouraliganji, Pourghaz, Hajsafi – Ebrahimi, Ezzatollahi (80’ Kamiabinya – Amiri (46’ Jahanbakhsh), Dejagah, Torabi – Kaveh Rezaei (73’ Ghochannejhad)


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