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 By John Duerden

Japan, Iran, Qatar keep Asian flag flying after Australia's heroics

Japan notched a 2-0 win over Tunisia in new head coach Vahid Halihodzic's first match in charge.

A new-look Japan took the field on Friday night in Valid Halilhodzic's first game in charge, yet it was the old guard who came off the bench in Oita to secure a 2-0 win over Tunisia. It was a solid result and a satisfactory performance.

The Bosnian, who led Algeria to the last 16 at the 2014 World Cup, had promised to shake up a team that has looked in need of exactly that over the past few months. There were only two survivors from the 11 that started the last game, the quarterfinal of the 2015...

Chile pay price for resting stars, fall to Iran in friendly

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Iran celebrate Javad Nekounam's opener during their victory over Chile on Thursday.

ST. POELTEN, Austria -- Chile slumped to a 2-0 defeat against Iran on Thursday in their second-to-last friendly 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...

Iran stop coach Carlos Queiroz from leaving country over taxes

Iran prevented coach Carlos Queiroz from leaving the county.

TEHRAN, Iran -- Authorities stopped Iran coach Carlos Queiroz from leaving the country on Saturday over accusations of an unpaid tax bill, an Iranian football federation official said. The travel ban was lifted later in the day after talks with tax officials.

The former Real Madrid head coach was stopped at the Tehran airport as he and the Iranian team were leaving for Europe for friendlies against Chile and Sweden. The team had to travel without him.

The incident came one day after Queiroz resigned...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Carlos Queiroz steps down as Iran coach 'because of pressures'

Carlos Queiroz signed a new contract with Iran in September.

Carlos Queiroz has resigned from his role as Iran coach, saying external pressures had forced him into making the decision.

Queiroz signed a new deal until 2018 in September after his side produced some battling displays in the group stage of last summer's World Cup.

However, according to the Fars news agency, the Portuguese decided to quit after being prevented from selecting Sardar Azmoon and Alireza Jahanbakhsh for Iran's forthcoming friendlies against Sweden and Chile.

The pair were instead...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

FIFA president Sepp Blatter: Iran must end intolerable stadium ban on women

FIFA presidential candidate Luis Figo says nothing will change if Sepp Blatter wins a fifth term in charge of football's governing body.
FIFA presidential candidate Michael van Praag talks about his campaign to win votes from South American countries at the CONMEBOL conference.
FIFA presidential candidate Michael van Praag said he would ensure full disclosure of Michael Garcia's report into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups and have a 40-team World Cup if he is elected in May.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has called on Iran to end its "intolerable" ban on women watching football matches.

Iran is bidding against the United Arab Emirates to host the 2019 Asian Cup, but Reuters reports that the ban on women attending men's sporting events in the country will likely damage their chances of being chosen as tournament hosts.

Iran's footballers were threatened with punishment by the Iranian Football Federation for posing for "selfies" with female supporters during the Asian Cup...