Iran shuts out Chile 2-0 in friendly
ST. POELTEN, Austria (AP) — Chile slumped to a 2-0 defeat against Iran on Thursday in its second-to-last warmup game before hosting the Copa America in June.
Iran captain Javad Nekounam scored from short range from Andranik Teymourian's corner in the 21st minute when he was left unmarked at the far post. It was Nekounam's 38th goal in his 151st international.
Vahid Amiri beat Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo when he rounded off a counterattack set up by Reza Ghoochannejhad on the right wing five minutes into the second half, in Iran's first match since losing to Iraq on penalties in the quarterfinals of the Asian Cup in January.
With a friendly against Brazil in London in three days, Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli rested several key players, including Arturo Vidal and Alexis Sanchez, though the striker came on to replace Fabian Orellana in the second half.
The South Americans dominated ball possession for most of the match but lacked efficiency in front of goal.
Mark Gonzalez missed Chile's best chance before halftime when he had his header saved by Iran goalkeeper Alireza Haghighi in the 43rd.
Chile created more danger after Sanchez's appearance. On the hour mark, he set up Jose Pedro Fuenzalida but his diagonal shot went wide.
Sanchez came close in the 77th when he controlled the ball on the chest before sending his volley from 15 meters just over the bar.
It was Chile's second defeat in eight games since last year's World Cup.
Iran plays another friendly against Sweden in Stockholm on Tuesday.