Iran beats Trinidad 2-0 in last World Cup warm-up
SAO PAULO (AP) — Iran defeated Trinidad and Tobago 2-0 in a World Cup warm-up Sunday played on a training ground that was empty apart from a few journalists.
Ehsan Haji Safi scored late in the first half and Reza Ghoochannejhad, who plays for English League Championship team Charlton, added a goal early in the second.
Iran dominated on a windswept field in northeast Sao Paulo, with about two dozen media looking on at the practice facility where the Iranians have been working out. While photographers and reporters were allowed to watch, video recording was permitted only during pregame drills.
Haji Safi put Iran ahead in the second minute of first-half stoppage time after Trinidad failed to clear a corner kick by Fulham’s Ashkan Dejagah.
Javad Nekounam’s penalty kick in the 50th minute was saved by diving goalkeeper Jan Michael Williams after Dejagah was fouled in the penalty area, and a shot from the rebound hit the crossbar.
Ghoochannejhad, who played for Dutch youth national teams before switching allegiance to Iran in 2012, doubled the lead nine minutes into the second half from about 10 yards.
Iran, coached by former Portugal, South Africa and Real Madrid boss Carlos Queiroz, opened its World Cup preparations with three warm-ups in Austria, 0-0 draws against Belarus and Montenegro, then a 1-1 draw with Angola.
Getting ready for its fifth World Cup appearance and first since 2006, the 43rd-ranked Iranians open against Nigeria on June 16, then play Argentina and close the group stage against Bosnia-Herzegovina.