Iran football ticket 'glitch' gave female fans hope

07 September, 2017, 02:10 | Author: Rolando Keller
  • Uzbekistan's national football team coach Samvel Babayan speaks during a press conference at Bunyodkor Stadium in Tashkent on Sept. 4 2017 one day ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match between South Korea and Uzbekistan

Syria's Omar Al Soma scored in injury time to force a 2-2 draw at Iran's Azadi Stadium, earning a crucial point that set off celebrations in their war-ravaged homeland.

They haven't played a match on Syrian soil since a friendly against Iraq in December 2010 and have played all their "home" qualifiers over 7000 kilometers away in largely-empty venues in Malaysia.

South Korea's goalless draw with Uzbekistan allowed them to claim second place in Group A with 15 points in the Asian section and automatic progression to Russian Federation.

The mood was markedly worse in Australia, where the Socceroos were pitched into the lottery of the play-offs despite a 2-1 victory over Thailand in Melbourne. "I felt that if didn't sign up, I would be missing a major event", Zahra Jafarzadeh said.

He was hardly given a vote of confidence, with the Korea Football Association (KFA) offering a contract that would see him terminated if they failed to advance to Russian Federation. It was a courageous performance from the Syrian team considering that it was playing away from home in Tehran and was down 2-1 heading into extra time.

But Iran's football federation later said the tickets were sold by mistake.

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Stand-in captain Kim Yong-Gwon sparked anger and ridicule when he complained that teammates could not hear each other against Iran because of the noise made by 63,000 screaming fans in Seoul's World Cup stadium. "We have work to do, but we have nine months to prepare for the World Cup".

Iran coach Carlos Queiroz, rejected any match-fixing plans and the state-owned IRAN daily reported Monday that Iran midfielder Ashkan Dejagah said his team is determined to win Tuesday's match. South Korea endured a misfiring campaign which included surprise losses to Qatar and China. "We'll try to do better than the previous World Cup".

The team going to the World Cup guarantees stable sponsorship deals for the national football governing body.

Prior to the match, South Korea leaked 10 goals in eight matches, the joint highest in the group.

The result pushed Australia into third in Group B and a place in the playoff, where it will meet Syria, which drew 2-2 with Iran to finish third in Group A.

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