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Warriors fall 2-0 to cautious Iran

Monday, June 9, 2014
Iran's Reza Ghouchannejad, left, and T&T’s Sheldon Bateau go up for the ball during the first half of an international soccer friendly at the Corinthians soccer team training centre, Sao Paulo, Brazil, yesterday. Iran will play in group F of the 2014 soccer World Cup. AP Photo

T&T’s senior footballers suffered another defeat yesterday, falling 2-0 to Iran, in a low-profile match at the Corinthians Training Complex, in Sao Paulo, Brazil.


And, for the second straight match, T&T conceded an opening goal in first-half injury-time. Haji Safi scored after T&T failed to clear a corner kick. The second goal was scored by Reza Ghoochennejhad in the 50th minute, moments after T&T goalkeeper Jan Michael Williams made a penalty save.


The match was played with virtually no one in attendance apart from the teams, officials and few journalists. 


Iran got their second goal in the 54th minute when Ghouchannejad ran onto a through ball and slotted past an advancing Williams at a point when the Warriors lost concentration. 


The loss comes four days after the 3-0 defeat away to Argentina. Both Argentina and Iran were using the match as preparation for the World Cup which starts on Thursday. 


Following the match, T&T head coach Stephen Hart, who made several changes from Wednesday’s friendly, said he felt his players did well but were timid at times. 


“It was not a bad performance but I thought we allowed them to take charge at some points of the game we could have been stronger and not allowed them to get into certain positions,” he said.


Prior to conceding the opening goal, T&T had a good opportunity to sneak the lead, when Lester Peltier’s shot sailed inches wide after Kenwyne Jones found him open.


Eight minutes before the break, after combination play between Jones and Molino, Peltier got possession on the right flank but his cross was cleared. Just before their opening goal came, Iran captain Javad Nekounam had a right-footed effort edge the post from a corner.


T&T is expected to return today.