The Iranian national football team has stormed to the top of Group A in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Asian qualifiers with a 1-0 victory over the UAE. Thursday night also saw head coach Dragan Skocic secure the tenth consecutive victory for the Iranian national team, which had been at a historic low point before his tenure began last February.
The sole goal of the game at Dubai’s Zabeel Stadium was scored by Mehdi Taromi in the 70th minute. The first half had seen plenty of opportunities open to both teams and the UAE started the second round to win, before the team’s striker Ali Makhbout was pulled down by Iran’s Shojae Khalilzadeh. In the end the video assistant referee ruled Mabkhout was offside when receiving the original pass, giving Iran a major reprieve.
At the height of the UAE’s offensive and just when Iranian fans might have been content with a draw, Iran launched a counter-attack, opening an opportunity for Mehdi Taromi to net the decisive goal. In the 88th minute Taromi also secured Iran a penalty kick, but Sardar Azmoun knocked the ball slightly to the right of the UAE’s goalkeeper Ali Khasif, who easily blocked it.
With this victory, Iran’s Team Melli broke its previous record for the number of consecutive wins. It has also returned to its previous position at the top of Group A, which was briefly snatched by South Korea earlier on Thursday night after a 2-1 win at home against Syria.