The Iran men’s national football team, domestically known as Team Melli, has routed the Sierra Leone national football team in a friendly fixture as part of preparations for the 2018 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup.
On Saturday evening, Team Melli thumped the Leone Stars 4-0 at the end of a match staged at Azadi Stadium in western Tehran.
Iran’s 26-year-old defender Mohammadreza Khanzadeh, who currently plays for Padideh in the Persian Gulf Pro League, opened the scoring for the hosts just 14 minutes into the match.
Ali Gholizadeh found the back of the net a minute later and doubled the Iran national football team’s lead.
Kaveh Rezaei scored Team Melli’s third goal in the 33rd minute, and Iranian footballers went into the cloakrooms ahead of their West African counterparts by three goals.
Gholizadeh put his name on the scoreboard once again in the 47th minute.This picture shows a view of the friendly match between the Iran men's national football team (players in white) and Sierra Leone at Azadi Stadium, western Tehran, Iran, on March 17, 2018.
During the official 2018 FIFA World Cup draw ceremony at Kremlin State Palace in the Russian capital city of Moscow on December 1, Team Melli joined the Portugal national football team, nicknamed A Selecção, Spain’s La Furia Roja and Atlas Lions of Morocco in the preliminary round of the tournament.
The host nation, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay form Group A in the upcoming quadrennial international sports event.
France is drawn in Group C, and is pitted against Australia, Peru and Denmark.
Argentina, Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria are drawn in Group D.
Group E consists of Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia.
While the 2014 FIFA World Cup champion Germany, Mexico, Sweden and South Korea shape Group F, Belgium, Panama, Tunisia and England are in Group G.
Group H has Poland, Senegal, Colombia and Japan.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup will take place from June 14 to July 15. Russia will open the event against Saudi Arabia in a Group A fixture at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.
A total of 64 matches will be played in 12 venues located in 11 cities.
Iran will start its World Cup campaign against Morocco at Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on June 15.
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