Iran will play Uzbekistan in a friendly match in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, on September 7, in what could be Dragan Skocic’s first match in charge of the Asian powerhouse.
Mehdi Kharati, the head of National Teams Department of the Iranian federation, made the announcement on Tuesday, adding the federation is also in negotiations with several other teams to fix a friendly for September 3.
Syrian media had revealed earlier in the week that Iran and Syria have reached agreement for a friendly in early September.
Iran will resume its 2022 World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualification campaign on October 8, taking on Hong Kong in Group C of the qualifiers.
Skocic’s men were to play Hong Kong and Cambodia in late March – and face Bahrain and Iraq in early June – before all Asian qualifiers were suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is yet to confirm the venues for the rescheduled qualifiers, but should the Asian football governing body stick to the previous plan, Iran will be hosting three of its remaining ties – except for the away game in Cambodia, which is now to be played on October 13.
The two decisive matches for Iran will probably come in the space of six days in November.
Skocic’s team will first meet Bahrain on November 12, before playing Iraq on November 17.
Iran – eyeing a third successive qualification for the World Cup – got off to a flying start in the group under new manager Marc Wilmots, beating Hong Kong 2-0 away and thrashing Cambodia 14-0 in Tehran.
However, consecutive away defeats against Bahrain (1-0) and Iraq (2-1) saw Iran part ways with the Belgian.
Iran currently sits third in the group with six points, trailing group leader Iraq and Bahrain by five and three points – albeit with a game in hand.
The eight group winners and four best runners-up across all groups will advance to the final round of qualifiers.