FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Iran drops Porto striker Taremi from squad

Porto striker Mehdi Taremi has been left out of Iran’s squad for its World Cup preliminaries against Lebanon and Syria in coming days by coach Dragan Skocic.

No reason has been given why Taremi, who has scored 10 times this season for the Portuguese league leader, was excluded from Skocic’s 27-man squad, which will face the Lebanese on Thursday before taking on Syria five days later.

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Taremi’s strike partnership with Sardar Azmoun has been instrumental in the Iranians sitting on top of Group A of Asia’s qualifiers for Qatar 2022.

Iran has 10 points from its first four games and is two points clear of South Korea, with only the first two finishers guaranteed to qualify for the finals.

The Iranians hope to advance to a third consecutive World Cup and the country’s sixth in total.


Goalkeepers: Alireza Beiranvand, Amir Abedzadeh, Payam Niazmand

Defenders: Shoja Khalilzadeh, Mohammadhossein Kanaanizadegan, Omid Nourafkan, Sadegh Moharami, Milad Mohammadi, Majid Hosseini, Saleh Hardani, Siavash Yazdani

Midfielders: Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Saeid Ezatolahi, Milad Sarlak, Ahmad Nourollahi, Yasin Salmani, Ehsan Hajisafi, Soroush Rafiei, Vahid Amiri, Saman Ghoddos, Mehdi Torabi, Ali Gholizadeh

Forwards: Karim Ansarifard, Sardar Azmoun, Mehdi Ghaedi, Kaveh Rezaei, Allahyar Sayyadmanesh

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