Russia: Iran join Brazil to qualify for 2018 World Cup finals

Moscow, Russia (PANA) - Apart from Russia, which qualify automatically as hosts, Iran became the second team to qualify for the 2018 World Cup finals after beating Uzbekistan 2-0 with goals from Sardar Azmoun and Mehdi Taremi at the Azadi Stadium on Monday.

Azmoun's goal midway through the first half set Iran on the path to the 2018 event in Russia before Taremi added a second two minutes from time to vault Iran to back-to-back World Cup tournaments for the first time.

The three-time Asian champions, who also missed a penalty just after the break, join Brazil as the qualified nations so far after Iran secured a fifth World Cup appearance.

The win means Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz's Iran team will finish in the top two places in Group A of Asia's final round of qualifying. Uzbekistan are eight points adrift of the leaders in third place and have only two games remaining.

The top two teams in each of Asia's two qualifying groups advance automatically to the finals while the teams in third place go through a series of playoffs.

Brazil became the first country to qualify, thanks to some help from fellow South Americans, Peru.

Neymar starred with his 52nd international goal as high-flying Brazil overcame Paraguay 3-0 on Tuesday but the CONMEBOL leaders still needed a favourable result in Peru.

And Tite's men - amid a nine-game winning streak since last year's Copa America Centenario - benefited from Peru's 2-1 win at home to struggling Uruguay as the five-time world champions are assured of at least a fourth-place finish, officially stamping their ticket to Russia 2018.

Peru's victory, while keeping their own qualification hopes alive, left third-placed Uruguay 10 points adrift.
-0- PANA VAO/MA 14June2017

14 june 2017 07:28:14

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