Qualifiers - Group C: IR Iran shine as Afghanistan, Palestine share spoils
Hamedan: Islamic Republic of Iran started their bid to qualify for the AFC U-16 Championship 2020 with a stunning 13-0 win over Maldives while Afghanistan and Palestine played to a 1-1 draw in Group C of the Qualifiers at the Hajbabaei Stadium on Wednesday.
Iran, champions in 2008, were simply unstoppable and will be favourites to win the automatic spot from the group to the Finals while Afghanistan and Palestine will have to raise their game if they are to stand a chance against the Central Asians.
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Afghanistan 2-2 Palestine
It was a balanced game as both teams were cautious in their approach but Mujtaba Amiri made full use of an opening in the 30th minute to put Afghanistan in front.
Palestine, however, fought back and captain Ahmed Shadid ensured they went in level at the break with the equaliser in the 40th minute.
Palestine came out roaring in the second half and their aggression paid off in the 69th minute as Shadid put them ahead.
However, Palestine’s celebrations were short-lived as Afghanistan leveled the score with Amiri finding the back of the net just a minute later.
Afghanistan’s next match will be against Maldives on Friday, while Palestine face Iran.
IR Iran 13-0 Maldives
Forward Amir Ebrahimzadeh starred with five goals as Iran raced to a 13-0 win over Maldives.
Ebrahimzadeh opened the scoring in the sixth minute and by the time the final whistle was blown, he had found the net four more times - in the 27th, 46th, 77th and 86th minutes.
Four players helped themselves to braces with striker Yadegar Rostami finding the back of the net in the 11th (penalty) and 48th minutes and midfielder Iman Danesh in the 26th and 43rd minutes.
Midfielder Fardin Bahri scored in the 30th and 40th minutes while striker Mohammad Reza Kooshki found the back of the net in the 58th and 72nd minutes.
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