Iran has made it two wins out of two games in the AFC Asian Cup 2015 with a sole goal from Sardar Azmoun proving enough to send Iran through to the quarterfinals of the tournament. Iran overpowered Qatar 1-0 in its second match of the competition Thursday in a hard-fought match in Sydney.
Azmoun's stunner came seven minutes into the second half when he brilliantly dribbled past the Qatari defenders and notched the ball past goalkeeper Burhan.
Backed by thousands of Iranians in the Stadium Australia, the Iranian national outfit could score more through chances by Ashkan Dejagah, Reza Ghouchannejad and Ehsan Hajsafi, with the latter missing a clear opportunity in front of the Qatari goal in final minutes of the game.
Azmoun's brilliant day, however, was cut short when he was forced to leave the pitch after he suffered an injury in 63rd minute. Camera footage showed young Azmoun obviously crying, as he may miss the opportunity to shine in the rest of the tournament.
Earlier in the day, the United Arab Emirates beat Bahrain 2-0 in the other match of Group C. The UAE is now ensured of a place in the quarterfinals as it sits on top of the table with a higher goal difference than Iran. The two teams will face off in Brisbane on January 19 to decide who wins the top spot in the group.
A three-time continental winner, Iran ranks first in Asia according to the latest data released by world governing body FIFA. The team is viewed as a favorite to win the games along with teams like Australia, Japan and South Korea.
The AFC Asian Cup will run until January 31.
Photos: The passionate Iranian fans:
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