Iran beat Nicaragua 1-0 in the final warmup game before heading to Qatar for the upcoming FIFA World Cup.
Persepolis winger Mehdi Torabi scored the only goal of the match with 14 minutes into the game, when he controlled the ball on an Omid Nourafkan’s low cross and wrongfooted Oscar Acevedo before finding the net with a composed finish.
With the overseas players still tied to club duties, Iran head coach Carlos Queiroz had to field a team of Persian Gulf Pro League players and the trio of Hossein Kan’anizadegan, Shoja Khalilzadeh, and Omid Ebrahimi, who play in the Qatari top flight.
The low point of the contest for the Portuguese manager came midway through the second half, as Ebrahimi was stretchered off with a groin injury – six minutes after coming off the bench – and will reportedly be sidelined for two months.
Esteghlal captain Hossein Hosseini replaced Alireza Beiranvand between the posts in the second half, meaning one of Amir Abedzadeh, Alireza Akhbari, and Payam Niazmand will likely be picked as the third-choice keeper when Queiroz announces the final squad on Sunday.
The Portuguese will find the chance to have an insight into his full-strength squad in a friendly against Tunisia behind closed doors in Doha on November 16 – five days before Iran’s Group B opener against England at the Khalifa International Stadium.
This will be a third successive World Cup campaign for Iran with Queiroz on the bench.
Former Colombia and Egypt coach returned to the job in mid-September, three years after ending his previous eight-year spell in charge of the Asian powerhouse.
Chasing a first-ever progress to the knockout phase, Iran will face Wales on Nov. 25 before taking on USA four days later.