Team Melli start World Cup preparation with win over Sierra Leone

March 17, 2018 - 17:39

TEHRAN – Iran national football team, known as Team Melli, defeated African minnow Sierra Leone 4-0 in a friendly here at the Azadi Stadium on Saturday.

Mohammad Reza Khanzadeh opened the scoring for Iran and two minutes later Ali Gholizadeh made it 2-0 with a long range shot that that the keeper absolutely should have kept out.

Kaveh Rezaei was on target in the 35th minute with a header into the six yard and Gholizadeh scored for the second time just two minutes into the second half.

“We had a good match. I would like to thank Sierra Leone national football team because they came here to play us. It was a long trip for them,” Queiroz said after the match.

Sierra Leone sit in 98th place in FIFA rankings while Iran are the best Asian football team and 33rd in the world.

The reports emerged that the African team came to Iran with just four main players.

“I didn’t care what others say. They want to undermine me,” the former Real Madrid coach said.

Carlos Queiroz’s men prepare for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, where they have been drawn with Spain, Morocco and Portugal in Group B.

Iran will open the campaign with a match against Morocco at Saint Petersburg on June 15.

Team Melli, meanwhile, face Spain in Kazan on 20 June before meeting Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal in Saransk five days later.

(Reporting by Masoud Hossein)

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