Iran, Oman settle for 1-1 draw in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier


This photo shows a view of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match between Iran (players in white) and Oman at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in the Omani capital, Muscat.

MUSCAT: The qualifying game between Iran men’s national football team and Oman for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia has ended in a 1-1 draw following a relatively anemic display from both sides.

On Thursday, the hosts got off to a strong start at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Muscat, and 31-year-old Omani player Amad Ali Suleiman al-Hosni successfully cut into Iran’s penalty area one minute into the match to fire a low shot towards the Persians’ goal. However, Iranian goalkeeper Alireza Haghighi dashed his scoring hopes with a smart save.

The Iranian soccer players then could establish themselves and brought the game under control. They sought to penetrate Oman’s penalty area, but were disappointed as their attempts failed to bear fruit.

In the 17th minute, Omani player Eid Mohammed al-Farsi dragged Iran’s Mehdi Taremi, 23, to the ground and was awarded a yellow card.

Iranians lost the possession of the ball eight minutes later and presented the home side a favorable opportunity, which Hosni took advantage of and unleashed a shot. The ball, though, rolled just past Iran’s post.

The rest of the first half was a particularly drab affair with both sides failing to produce any real goal scoring opportunities.

After the break, the Omanis played with more vigor and valor, and Saad al-Mukhaini put Oman 1-0 up seven minutes into the second half.

Iran coach Carlos Queiroz replaced Vahid Amiri with winger Mehdi Torabi in the 60th minute to illuminate a scoring chance for the Persians. Finally, Jalal Hosseini netted the equalizer in the 69th minute after Oman’s defense failed to parry the ball out.

Iranian footballers will return to action on November 12, when they take aim at Turkmenistan in their next Group D qualifier match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup at Tehran’s Azadi Stadium.

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