TEHRAN – Australia defeated Iran 3-2 to revive their hopes of advancing from Group B of the AFC U20 AFC Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2023 on Saturday.
The win means Australia are back in the race for a quarterfinals spot after having lost their opener to Vietnam while Iran’s defeat means they will have to do it the hard after failing to build on their victory against Qatar, Tehran Times reported.
Australia found the breakthrough in the eighth minute when Adrian Segecic released Jed Drew, who in turn fed Aidan Simmons to strike home from close range.
Australia’s second was spectacular with Segecic squeezing in his free-kick into the bottom left corner, with Iran keeper Adib Zarei left with no chance.
Iran came back fighting and reduced the deficit in the 25th minute with Amirreza Eslamtalab finishing off Mersad Seifi’s cross from the left flank.
Australia were quick off the blocks at the start of the second half and made it 3-1 in the 46th minute, thanks to a well-crafted move set up by Alessandro Lopane, who started at the center before supplying a cutback for Segecic to finish.
Iran reduced the deficit in the 80th minute off Alireza Enayatzadeh’s strike from inside the box but Australia stood firm to seal the win and revive their hopes.
Australia will meet Qatar on Tuesday while Iran will play Vietnam.