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Iran qualifies for 2018 World Cup following 2-0 win over Uzbekistan

13 June 2017

Iran's Alireza Jahan Bakhsh, right, defends against Uzbekistan's Akmal Shorakhmedov during their 2018 Russia World Cup qualifying soccer match at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran, Iran, Monday, June 12, 2017.

Team Melli's victory on Monday not only guaranteed their safe passage to the 2018 World Cup, but ensured they did so in style with two Group Stage matches to spare.

Sardar Azmoun gave the lead Team Melli in the 23rd minute after he beat an offside trap following a counter-attack. Uzbekistan are eight points adrift of the leaders in third place and have only two games remaining.

It was Iran's sixth win from eight matches in Group A which took the table-toppers to 20 points, while South Korea are second on 13 ahead of their match against Qatar today.

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Another victory in the qualifying round the team of Carlos karusha brought goals Cerdan Asana and Mehdi Taremi.

Vice-president Eshaq Jahangiri was present at the stadium for the game, among the nearly 60,000 supporters celebrating when the referee blew full-time.

Iran's qualification will largely fly under the radar, but it should be recognised that it's is a major achievement for the national team.

Thousands of Iranians spilled onto the streets after the match with impromptu street parties in Tehran and across the country as people danced, waved flags and honked vehicle horns.

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In the main streets and squares Tehrani residents gathered and chanted "Queiroz, we love you", and "Queiroz, thank you".

Despite knowing a win would book their place in Russian Federation, the Iranians started the game in a controlled fashion and in the 23rd minute Azmoun showed his cool head in front of goal to put his side in front.

Asian Football Confederation president Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa praised the consistency of the Iran team.

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Iran qualifies for 2018 World Cup following 2-0 win over Uzbekistan