Lackluster Iran suffer late loss against Iraq

November 14, 2019 - 19:43

TEHRAN – Iran national football team suffered a second successive loss in the 2022 World Cup qualification, losing to Iraq 2-1 on Thursday.

In the match held in neutral venue Amman, Mohanad Ali gave the Iraqi team the lead from the edge of the six-yard area in the 11th minute after the Iranian defenders failed to clear the ball.

Iran midfielder Ahmad Nourollahi levelled the score with a well-taken goal in the 25th minute.

Iraq started better the second half and put Team Melli under pressure and made some scoring chances.

With nine minutes remaining, Iran went down to 10 men after captain Masoud Shojaei received his second yellow card.

Substitute Alaa Abbas found the back of Iran’s net with a header in the dying moments of the match and kept Iraq at the top of Group C with 10 points.

Marc Wilmots’s team had lost to Bahrain 1-0 in mid-October.

Earlier on the day, Bahrain were held to a goalless draw by Hong Kong in the group, but remained second with eight points, two points ahead of third-placed Iran.  

The eight group winners and four best runners-up will advance to the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Finals and the final round of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

The next best 24 teams from the second round of the joint qualifiers will compete in a separate competition for the remaining 12 slots in the 24-team AFC Asian Cup China 2023.

Reporting by Masoud Hossein

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