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Resurgent Bayern wins Tehran friendly against Persepolis

Tehran, Jan 13, IRNA-Bayern Munich came from one goal down to overcome Persepolis 2-1 in a friendly in the 100,000-seater Azadi Stadium, west of Tehran, Friday.

The red-clad Persepolis had a shocking start, forcing a couple of saves from Germany skipper Oliver Kahn.

Supported by more than 50,000 passionate fans and spearheaded by frolic striker Javad Kazemian, Persepolis took the lead in the 26th minute.

French defender Valerien Ismael was judged by referee Massoud Moradi to have brought down Kazemian and fullback Ali Ansarian coolly converted the penalty kick.

The home team's opener was a wake-up call for the German record champion that leveled the match nine minutes later. Striker Michael Ballack glanced a Ze Roberto free-kick past keeper Farshid Karimi, brother of Bayern new signing Ali Karimi.

Both sides had a scoring chance one minute from halftime, but it was the visitor that grabbed the winner. Ansarian chested down the ball and hit the crossbar with a powerful drive, but the rebound allowed Paolo Guerrero to score Bayern's winner with an unstoppable left shot from close range.

Brazilian midfielder Ze Roberto squandered a scoring chance created by a neat flick from Ali Karimi seconds from the interval.

Manager Felix Magath threw on a completely new team after the restart that produced scoring opportunities.

Mehmet Scholl, Bayern's captain in the second half, surprisingly steered a shot from two yards directly toward keeper Karimi with the goal gaping.

It was a stroke of luck that Scholl's 62nd minute free-kick did not find the net after hitting the near post and goalie Karimi's back.


Bayern Munich sporting director Uli Hoeness expressed his pleasure over the German team's presence in Tehran, saying Bayern players were keen to play here.

Hoeness, on behalf of the Bayern Munich Club, congratulated Iran on its qualification for the 2006 World Cup, expressing hope Germany would host the prestigious event as well as possible.

He said Bayern's trip to Tehran was a mission of peace.

Bayern Munich returned to Tehran after more than 30 years, when it conceded a 6-3 loss.

The last time Bayern played in Tehran was in 1972 when it lost to an all-star team of Tehran-based clubs. Bayern legend and current board member Franz Beckenbauer was the skipper of the German team on that occasion.

Bayern traveled to Tehran with all its stars including former Persepolis player Ali Karimi. Just Paraguay striker Roque Santa Cruz did not accompany the Bundesliga midseason champion.

Magath talking to state TV reporters said the friendly was useful for his side.

"As soon as we received the invitation letter from Persepolis we replied with pleasure, since we have a lot of friends in Iran and in a few months time we will host Iran's national team in Germany at the World Cup finals."

Asked whether Iran could make success in Group D matches against Portugal, Mexico, and Angola in the finals, the trainer said: "Iran gained experience in the 1998 World Cup in France and I think the Asian teams will have good performance against European and South American sides."

Persepolis head coach Ali Parvin said: "Such games are good for Iranian people and players, raising their spirits."

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... Payvand News - 1/14/06 ... --

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