TehranTimes- TEHRAN, Despite a strong start, Iran experienced setbacks in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers following their win against Hong Kong.
In Tehran, Iran’s football team secured a 4-0 victory over Hong Kong in their opening 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier.
Sardar Azmoun, AS Roma striker, scored a brace while Porto’s Mehdi Taremi and Ramin Rezaeian added two more goals, leading Iran to a comfortable victory.On the other hand, Iran’s day took a negative turn when Alireza Jahanbakhsh, winger, pulled his hamstring and had to be replaced.
Due to the injury, Jahanbakhsh will not be able to join the national team for the match against Uzbekistan, as confirmed by the team doctor.Another setback was Ahmad Nourollahi’s expulsion from Team Melli. He was expelled by Amir Ghalenoei, head coach, and his technical staff, due to unprofessional conduct and disciplinary problems.
Due to being left out of Iran’s 23-man squad, Nourollahi was angered by Ghaeloni’s decision and chose not to join the other standby players at the Azadi Stadium on Thursday.Group E in the second round of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC) is currently led by Iran, with Uzbekistan, Hong Kong, and Turkmenistan also in the group.On Tuesday, Iran will travel to Tashkent to play Uzbekistan in Group E, while Hong Kong will host Turkmenistan at home on the same day.