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Group B: European heavyweights to do battle



After beating Italy to top spot in Europe’s Group G on the road to the 2018 FIFA World Cup™, Spain now face another stern test after being pitted against European heavyweights Portugal, as well as Africa’s Morocco and Asia’s IR Iran.

Teams
PORTUGAL | SPAIN | MOROCCO | IR IRAN

Key Game
Portugal v Spain (15 June 2018, Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi)

A mouth-watering tie in Sochi lies in store. You could hear the gasps at Moscow’s State Kremlin Palace when these two European heavyweights – and neighbours – were drawn alongside each other in Group B. This is a game not to be missed. 

What you need to know
Russia presents familiar territory for Portugal. As UEFA EURO 2016 winners, Portugal secured their berth to the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, where Fernando Santos’s side defeated Mexico in the play-off for third place.

IR Iran will be looking to Sardar Azmoun for goals. The 22-year-old striker, who plys his trade in Russia with Rubin Kazan, notched 11 goals in qualifying, the same number as Tim Cahill (Australia), Christian Eriksen (Denmark) and Romelu Lukaku (Belgium).

Morocco topped a tightly-contested African zone Group C to secure qualification to Russia 2018, pipping Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon and Mali.

The stat
3 – Iran were the third team to book their place at the 2018 World Cup after hosts Russia and 2014 hosts Brazil.  



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Iran thump 10-man Guinea in Goa – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup


by
Bertin Basson

Saturday Oct 07, 2017. 18:53


Iran moved top of Group C following a 3-1 win over Guinea in a 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup clash at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa, India on Saturday.

The Africans matched their counterparts for most of the clash, but individual errors cost them dearly as they suffered defeat in their opening game in India.

Following a goalless opening half, the game sparked into life following the interval with Iran getting their campaign up and running with a superb strike.

The Asian nation opened the scoring just short of the hour mark following a moment of magic from Allahyar Sayyad. The burly forward creating a bit of spark out of nothing as his turn and shot whistled into the back of the net from the edge of the area.

Iran doubled their lead in the 70th minute through Mohammad Sharifi who made no mistake from the penalty spot following a reckless challenge by Cherif Camara inside the area.

The Guinea defender received his marching orders as a result, having picked up his first yellow in the opening stanza.

Ibrahima Sylla’s day was compounded in the 90th minute as Saeid Karimi pounced on a mistake by the goal-minder to guide the ball into an empty net.

An outstanding solo effort from Fandje Traore proved a mere consolation for Guinea who ended the game on a high.

The playmaker with an eye-turning swivel to leave his marker in his wake before guiding a left-footed shot into the back of the net in added time.

Iran (0) 3 (Sayyad 59′ Sharifi 70′ pen Karimi 90′)

Guinea (0) 1 (F.Traore 90+1′)



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Togo to face Iran in Tehran without star players – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Togo’s Floyd Ayite celebrates his winner against St Etienne

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Sep 29, 2017. 18:00


Togo will be without two key players, Emmanuel Adebayor and Floyd Ayité when they face Iran next month.

The two sides will lock horns in an international friendly match at the Azadi Stadium in Tehrān, Iran on 5 October 2017.

The Togolese Football Federation (FTF) has since announced that Adebayor and Ayite have both been withdrawn from the squad due to injuries.

“Injured in their respective clubs, Emmanuel Adebayor (Basaksehir) and Floyd Ayité (Fulham) have declared forfeit,” a statement read.

Adebayor, the Togo captain and striker, who is playing for İstanbul Başakşehir in the Turkish Super Lig, has been out nursing an injury.

Togo midfielder Ayite plies his trade in the English Championship for Fulham and he was substituted in the 42nd minute against Middlesbrough last weekend due to injury.

It remains to be seen whether the FTF will call up replacements before the match.



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Le Roy announces Togo squad for Iran friendly – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Sep 22, 2017. 19:00


The Togolese squad that will face Iran next month has been announced by coach Claude Le Roy.

The Sparrow Hawks are scheduled to face off with Iran in an friendly match during the FIFA international break which will take place between 2-10 October, 2017.

Emmanuel Adebayor, Mathieu Dossevi and Laba Fodoh are some of the established players, who were named in the 23-man squad.

South African-based duo Sadat Ouro-Akoriko and Dove Wome have also been called up by the French tactician.

Togo will use the friendly match as preparation for their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Benin.

The qualifier is scheduled to take place in Togo in March, 2018 and both teams are in Group D which also includes Algeria and Gambia.

Goalkeepers

1) Abotchi Dové (AS Togo Port – Togo)

2) Alhassani Dida Fatoa (Liberty – Ghana)

3) Bassa Djeri Sabirou (Gbikinti – Togo)

Defenders

4) Djene Dakonam (Getafe – Spain)

5) Issifou Bourahama (AS Togo – Togo)

6) Kouloun Maklibè (Dyto – Togo)

7) Lawson Steve (Neuchatel Xamax – Switzerland)

8) Ouro-Sama Hakim (Togo Port – Togo)

9) Ouro-Akoriko Sadat (AmaZulu FC – South Africa)

10) Wilson Akakpo (Al Masry – Egypt)

Midfielders

11) Agbegniadan Komlan (Wafa – Ghana)

12) Atakora Lalawélé (Adana Demirsport – Turkey)

13) Atchou Franco (Enyimba – Nigeria)

14) Ayite Floyd (Fulham – England)

15) Bebou Ihlas (Hannover 96 – Germany)

16) Dossevi Mathieu (FC Metz – France)

17) Nya-Vedji Elom (Foot-Togo Planet – Togo )

18) Seko Atsou Serge (Progresso – Angola)

19) Dove Wome (SuperSport United – South Africa)

20) Yenoussi Guillaume (Dyto – Togo)

Strikers

21) Adebayor Emmanuel Shéyi (İstanbul Başakşehir – Turkey)

22) Laba Kodjo Fo-Doh (RS Berkane – Morocco)

23) Mlapa Peniel (Dresden – Germany)



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