Two friendly matches are in the books for Iran after a 1-0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago in Tehran on 15 November and a 1-1 draw with Venezuela in Doha on 20 November.
Iran took care of business against T & T at Azadi Stadium and I really liked the quality of the goal scored by Karim Ansarifard.
The match against Venezuela was much more challenging, especially because Iran fell behind in the 36th minute.
Darwin Machis of Italian club Udinese received a long pass and exposed the mistakes of right-back Ramin Rezaeian and also exposed the weaknesses of Iranian keeper Amir Abedzadeh.
Abedzadeh has been doing well for Maritimo in Portugal, but his positioning was in question and it didn’t look good that the ball was able to go under his left hand and into the far corner of the net to give Venezuela the lead.
Fortunately for Iran, Ali Gholizadeh equalized seven minutes by taking advantage of a turnover and his left-footed shot into the far corner was brilliant.
Gholizadeh was man of the match without a doubt for Iran and I am hoping to see him on the 23-man squad for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.
Let’s continue to throw all our support behind Team Melli as we get closer to the Asian Cup!