Istanbul: Islamic Republic of Iran produced a fighting performance as they went down 2-1 to Turkey in a pre-2018 FIFA World Cup Russia friendly match at the BasaksehirFatihTerim Stadium on Monday.
CenkTosun, of English Premier League club Everton, fired a brace but Carlos Queiroz’s team would have been pleased with their performance.
IR Iran, Asia’s top ranked team, suffered an early blow as Tosun fired Turkey ahead after just six minutes, beating RouzbehCheshmi before unleashing a powerful shot which found the back of the net.
IR Iran fought back, with AlirezaJahanbakhsh setting up Ehsan Haji Safi but his shot was saved by the Turkey goalkeeper.
After having conceded early in the first half, it was a case of history repeating itself as five minutes into the restart, Team Melli found themselves 2-0 down with Tosun again inflicting the damage.
IR Iran, however, reduced the deficit after Turkey’s Omer Bayram was sent off for handling the ball in the penalty area in added time and substitute AshkanDejagah converted from the spot.
IR Iran are in Group B at the FIFA World Cup Russia with Morocco, Spain and Portugal.
In their fifth appearance at the FIFA World Cup, IR Iran will open their campaign against Morocco on June 15 before facing Spain (June 20) and Portugal (June 25).