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Number Seven Thousand Three Hundred and Eighty Two - 09 September 2023
Iran Daily - Number Seven Thousand Three Hundred and Eighty Two - 09 September 2023 - Page 6

Iran beats Bulgaria to continue unbeaten run

Mohammad Mohebbi bagged the winner as Iran walked away with a 1-0 victory over Bulgaria in a friendly in Plovdiv on Thursday.
Brentford midfielder Saman Qoddous was first to an ill-fated back pass by home side’s Ilia Gruev before his volley cross found Rostov striker Mohebbi, who headed home with 14 minutes into the contest.
Having seen his contribution to the national team being limited to cameo appearances over the past six years, Qoddous will be looking to build on the man-of-the-match performance he delivered at the Hristo Botev Stadium ahead of January’s AFC Asian Cup in Qatar.
Goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand had to be replaced by Payam Niazmand midway through the first half after suffering a groin injury.
The news is a massive blow for Persepolis fans and the manager Yahya Golmohammadi, whose team will have to take on Cristiano Ronaldo and co. in an AFC Champions League opener against Saudi side Al Nassr in 10 days.
This was a fifth successive win for the Asian powerhouse under head coach Amir Qalenoei, who is yet concede a loss since taking over from Portuguese Carlos Queiroz following a group stage exit at last year’s World Cup.
“We were good in defense and enjoyed an overall decent performance, though we’re disappointed not to have converted our chances,” Qalenoei’s assistant Antonio Manicone said after the game.
“We have a big goal at the Asian Cup and will keep working hard toward that objective,” added the Italian.
The three-time champion will be chasing a first trophy at the continent’s flagship international event since 1976 when starting its campaign in Group C against the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, and Palestine.
Next for Iran is a friendly against Angola in Tehran on Tuesday.
Ranked 116th in the world, Angola shared the spoils with Madagascar in a goalless stalemate at home on Thursday to finish second to Ghana in the qualification group and progress to the Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire earlier next year.
Qalenoei’s side will fly to Jordan in October’s international break to take part in a four-team tournament, also featuring Qatar and Iraq.


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