Iran’s national football team preparations for the FIFA World Cup took off on Thursday with a 2-0 win over Togo at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran.
The Iranian squad, also known as Team Melli, who reached the 2018 World Cup with an unbeaten record, will now face Russia on Tuesday in Kazan.
Iran start on the right foot
Team Melli, currently the 25th-placed team in the FIFA rankings and Asia’s best positioned, calmly defeated Togo, the 121st in the World and Africa’s 32nd.
Giving an opportunity to substitutes, Iran started the match in a dominant way, however, their efforts to open the scoring in the first half did not pay off. That was to change though.
After the half-time, the hosts begun a blitzkrieg attack on their opponents’ goals.
It was Olympiacos striker, Karim Ansarifard, who broke the deadlock in the 51st minute. He made no mistake shooting with his right foot from the center of the box to the bottom left corner after Togo’s goalkeeper, Bassa Djeri Sabirou, dropped the ball inside the penalty area.
Right on the hour mark, Ansarifrad scored the second goal after receiving a low cross from Omid Ebrahimi.
After the second goal, Togo had a few chances to convert, but they were unable to do so, since Iran’s defense and goalkeeper were having an outstanding night.
Now, a harsher test awaits Team Melli, as they look to Kazan Arena on Tuesday.