TEHRAN – Iran suffered a 1-0 loss against Bahrain at matchday 4 of Asia’s Round 2 qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar in Group C on Tuesday.
Uzbekistani referee Valentin Kovalenko was awarded a penalty stroke to Bahrain in the 65th minute which Mohamed Al Hardan coolly slotted home in Riffa’s at Bahrain National Stadium.
Team Melli have already defeated Hong Kong and Cambodia in the competition.
Iran have been drawn in Group C alongside Iraq, Bahrain, Cambodia and Hong Kong.
The result means Bahrain now share the summit of the group with Iraq with seven points each, although a superior scoring record sees Iraq claiming the top spot.
Iran dropped to third with six points from three matches.
Team Melli face a challenging trip to Iraq in November, while Bahrain head east to play Hong Kong next.
The eight group winners and four best runners-up will advance to the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Finals and the final round of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
The next best 24 teams from the second round of the joint qualifiers will compete in a separate competition for the remaining 12 slots in the 24-team AFC Asian Cup China 2023.