Al Wasl's Khalatbari leads Iran to victory
Al Wasl striker Mohammad Khalatbari claimed a 94th-minute winner as Iran snatched a 1-0 win against Uzbekistan in a dramatic World Cup qualifier as the hosts were left to rue an apparent goal which went unseen by the match officials.
In the last action of the game, substitute Khalatbari raced onto Karim Ansari’s through ball and slotted home to claim a win Iran barely deserved.
It was the cruellest of finishes for Uzbekistan, who 20 minutes earlier had the ball over the line in an incident missed by the referee. Alexander Geynrikh’s free-kick caused chaos in the box and Odil Ahmedov’s shot from the goalmouth melee was blocked behind the line by Iranian defender Seyed Hosseini, who also appeared to use his hand, TV replays showed.
Elsewhere, Sebastian Andres Quintana Soria’s 64th-minute strike settled a tight encounter in Tripoli as Qatar beat Lebanon 1-0 and Asian Cup holders Japan beat Oman 3-0 with goals early in both halves, delivering the hosts a comfortable win.
Meanwhile, a bad error by goalkeeper Mohammed Kassid handed Jordan a 1-1 draw with neighbouring Iraq in Amman. Iraq took the lead in the 14th minute thanks to some neat skill by their Spanish-based playmaker Nashat Akram.
But just as Iraq looked liked they would reach half-time in front, Kassid made a costly error. The experienced stopper fumbled a 30-metre drive straight to the feet of Ahmad Ibrahim, the Jordanian forward slotting home from close range, via the post.