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Iran downs China at Tehran's Azadi Stadium

TEHRAN, Jan. 9 (Mehr News Agency) -- Iran national football team defeated China 3-1 in a friendly match on Thursday here at the Azadi Stadium. Ali Daei's side, who are preparing for the World Cup 2010 qualifiers against South Korea in February, beat their rival for the second time in one month. Iran had already defeated China 2-0 in Oman tournament in December.

Arash Borhani gave the hosts a lead in the 20th minute. Hassan Ashjari sent a cross into the box and the Esteghlal striker put a header past the Chinese keeper in front of about 5,000 spectators.

Veteran Karim Bagheri doubled the score seven minutes later with a long range shot from a free-kick which touched the post. He was forced to go outside after being injured by a Chinese player shortly after.

China pulled a goal back in the 66th minute. Bowen received a ball from his teammate among some Iranian players in the box and Seyed Mehdi Rahmati failed to save his powerful shot.

Referee Saeid Mozaffarizadeh showed the penalty spot in the 72nd minute and Maziar Zare converted it into a goal to seal a 3-1 victory for Iranians.

Iran is to play Singapore on January 14 in the 2011 Asian Cup qualifiers at the Azadi Stadium.

... Payvand News - 01/09/09 ... --

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