Iran qualify for 2018 World Cup after beating Uzbekistan

June 12, 2017

Iran defeated Uzbekistan 2-0 to advance to successive FIFA World Cups for the first time in their history.

After Brazil, who have become the first team to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, Iran are the second team book a place in the prestigious event.

Sardar Azmoun gave the lead Team Melli in the 23rd minute after he beat an offside trap following a counter-attack.

Just three minutes into the second half, Iran striker Mehdi Taremi was brought down in the area but captain Masoud Shojaei failed to convert his penalty.

With two minutes remaining, Taremi, who had scored against Qatar and China, scored his third successive goal.

Sardar Azmoun was named the Man of the Match at the end of the game.

He received a yellow card and missed the next match against South Korea.

Unbeaten in eight qualifying games, Iran have been in dominant form in Group A, having yet to concede a goal on the Road to Russia.

The win means Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz's Iran team will finish in the top two places in Group A of Asia's final round of qualifying. Uzbekistan are eight points adrift of the leaders in third place and have only two games remaining.

The top two teams in each of Asia's two qualifying groups advance automatically to the finals while the teams in third place go through a series of playoffs.

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