Iran, Montenegro play out goalless draw
Having played out a 0-0 draw with Belarus in Austria eight days previously, Carlos Queiroz’s men failed to find the net once again, with their pre-tournament fixtures continuing to bear little fruit.
Despite periods of dominance for Iran, clear-cut chances were few and far between and Mladen Bozovic in the Montenegro goal was rarely called into action.
Charlton Athletic’s Reza Ghoochannejhad squandered the best chance to settle the encounter, nodding just wide of the left-hand post shortly before the interval.
After a quiet opening 10 minutes, Masoud Shojaei had a glorious chance to put Iran in front, but was denied by a desperate Marko Vesovic clearance inside the six-yard box.
There was some concern for Montenegro when Milan Jovanovic went down after being caught by a stray set of Iranian studs midway through the half, but the defender dusted himself down and returned to the action.
Fulham midfielder Ashkan Dejagah had Bozovic sprawling shortly before the half-hour mark with a curling free-kick from 20 yards – the goalkeeper getting down well to his right to keep the scores level.
Shojaei pulled the trigger from the edge of the area once again in the 32nd minute, but a deflection took the pace of the effort which was gratefully collected by Bozovic.
Ghoochannejhad should have had Iran in front heading into half-time, but headed agonisingly wide of the left-hand post from a right-wing cross.
Iran continued to apply the pressure after the break, but repeatedly came up short as Pejman Montazeri nodded an effort narrowly off target.
Tempers flared between Dejagah and Vesovic in the 58th minute, and the Iranian could count himself lucky not to see a card after going nose-to-nose with his opponent.
Ehsan Hajsafi sent an effort whistling past the left-hand post 12 minutes from time, but it was not to be for Iran
Darko Nikac could have won it for Montenegro at the death, but he failed to capitalise on Rahman Ahmadi’s hesitation in the penalty area, and Iranian thoughts will now switch to forthcoming friendlies against Angola and Trinidad and Tobago.
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