Iran are through to next year's World Cup soccer finals in Argentina. In Teheran on?
Iran are through to next year's World Cup soccer finals in Argentina. In Teheran on Friday (25 November) they beat Australia 1-0, and now cannot be overtaken in their Asian qualifying group. They have 12 points, and their nearest rivals Kuwait, whom they meet final qualifying match in Kuwait on December the third, have nine.
SYNOPSIS: Iran, wearing the white shorts, opened in fine style and a fierce drive almost brought them an early goal. And more pressure soon followed.
The Australians survived the early onslaught and there was plenty of tension in the Iranian camp. This was in the 44th minute. A cross from the right was pushed out to Ghaffur Jahani, and he made no mistake from close range.
It was a soft goal, but it was enough to make sure that the Iranian reached Argentina.
In the second half Australia fought hard to get on level terms. A right wing attack nearly brought an equaliser, but the shot was fractionally off target.
The Iranians, however, refused to sit back on their lead and an attack down the middle brought a free kick just outside the area.
The Australians lined up carefully for the kick. Being only one goal down they were still in with a chance. Iran needed another goal to make sure of the points, but two shots cannoned off the 'wall' and the Australians were allowed to break out of defence.
In the closing stages, though, it was Iran, who looked the more likely to score. They continued to work for openings and another low ball from the right nearly let them in. This time, however, the shot was wide, but one goal was enough.