Iran has disappointed Russia in a friendly football match, as Mohammed Reza Khalatbari scored the only goal of the match at the penultimate minute. The international FIFA "A" friendly match was held in Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, Feb. 9.
Russia, ahead of a Euro 2012 qualifier next month, was seeking opportunities for
its players for some experience, but was stunned by a 1-0 loss against Iran.
Iran gained a good start in their opening game of 2011. On a rare foray forward 34 minutes into the game, Iran mustered their most presentable attempt. They, however, failed to score as Ehsan Hajsafi's free kick went wide off the goal.
Iran's Arash Afshin and Hadi Norouzi again brought excitement in the game in the final third. Their resilience paid dividends in the 90th minute when Khalatbari finished with a powerful shot after an enterprising run.
In the ensuing celebrations, he was immediately shown the red for removing his shirt.
Speaking at a press conference after the game, Russian coach Dick Advocaat
blamed the result on his players' intensive training.
"Most of our players are only getting ready for their season and they train twice a day, therefore some of them looked really tired in the second half."
"I tried to do as many substitutions as I could at halftime but it didn't help much. Unfortunately, people in Russia will remember this match as one big disappointment," he regretted.
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