Uzbekistan, Iran share spoils
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- Uzbekistan came from two goals down to hold Islamic Republic of Iran 2-2 in Group E of the Preliminary Joint Qualification - Round 2 for the FIFA World Cup 2026 and the AFC Asian Cup Saudi Arabia 2027™ on Tuesday.
The result means the teams will go into the next matchday, scheduled for March, 2024, level on points.
Both sides came into the tie with opening day victories in the bag, Iran scoring four unanswered goals against Hong Kong, China, while Uzbekistan came back from a goal down to defeat Turkmenistan 3-1.
Iran wasted no time in setting the tone when they took the lead in the 14th minute, courtesy of Ramin Rezaeian’s strike following a swift attacking move with Sardar Azmoun setting up the goal.
Uzbekistan had no answer to Iran’s tenacity as they doubled their lead in the 38th minute through Mehdi Taremi, who picked Saman Ghoddos’s squared pass following Otabek Shukurov slip at the centre.
Uzbekistan regrouped after the break and pulled one back in the 52nd minute with Eldor Shomurodov orchestrating the move, weaving past the Iranian defence before sending a well-timed pass for Oston O’runov to strike home.
O’runov then turned provider in the 83rd minute when he set up Igor Sergeevto to volley home as Uzbekistan grabbed a share of the points.