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Iran, Belarus tie in soccer friendly

By Kambakhsh Khalaji

TEHRAN, Feb. 7 (Mehr News Agency) - Iran and Belarus tied 2-2 in a hard-fought pulsating football friendly here Wednesday.

Backed by over 10,000 partisan fans in the Azadi Stadium, the home team took the lead after five minutes through striker Rassul Khatibi who pinned the ball to the net with a spectacular overhead kick in a crowded area.

Iran failed to add the second in defiance of possessing the ball and field in the first half.

The Belarusian side played an offensive football after the interval, hitting two in six minutes.

Vyacheslav Hleb cleared three markers in the box to celebrate the equalizer with a shot that found its way into the net after passing through the legs of substitute keeper Vahid Taleblu on 53 minutes.

The striker doubled the scoring in a melee, firing home with a side-footed drive in the 59th minute.

Striker Mehdi Rajabzadeh, however, salvaged a draw two minutes from normal time when he sent an Iman Mob'ali curling corner in with a drilling header.

Italy's Livorno fullback Rahman Rezaii blamed his hoodoo as his header three minutes deep into stoppage time hit the far post and his goal-bound kick was blocked in the goalmouth seconds later.

Earlier in the day, the Belarusian Under-23 team beat Iran's Olympic squad 1-0.

... Payvand News - 2/8/07 ... --

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