Iran 2 – 1 Azerbaijan (VIDEO)

Iran who started with a strong line up, looked too strong for Azerbaijan in the first half, and Fereydoon Zandi managed to give Iran the lead after 9 minutes with a well taken free kick from 25 yards.

Ali Daei should have doubled Iran’s lead in the 16th minute when Mahdavikia found him unmarked inside the penalty area. However, Daei’s header missed the goal completely. Zandi nearly made it 2-0 in the 25th minute but his brilliant shot hit the post.

It wasn’t long before Iran finally scored its second goal. A pass by Hashemian reached Nekounam outside the penalty area, who managed to score with a nice shot in the 30th minute.

Daei and Zandi had further chances in the remaining 15 minutes of the first half, but each time Azerbaijan goal keeper denied them with great saves.

Iran made 6 substitutions in the second half to keep the main players fresh before the crucial World Cup qualifier on Friday against North Korea. The new players never settled in, and the quality of the game was reduced greatly compared to the first half.

Azerbaijan managed to score their only goal of the game with a rare attack on Iran goal in the 67th minute through Gurbanov. The game finished 2-1 for Iran.

Video highlights (please right click, and save target as)

1-0 Zandi’s goal

2-0 Nekounam’s goal

highlights: Zandi’s shot

Iran: Mirzapour, Kabi (Badavi), Golmohammadi (Kameli), Nosrati, Zare, Mahdavikia (Kazemian), Nekounam, Karimi (Mobali), Zandi, Hashemian (Borhani), Daei (Enayati)

Goals: Zandi (9), Nekounam (30), Gurbanov (67)