Iran boosted their 2010 FIFA World Cup™ hopes by inflicting a 2-1 defeat on Korea DPR at the Azadi stadium.
Iran went into this game with the psychological edge, having defeated the North Koreans twice in qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Eintracht Frankfurt's Mehdi Mahdavikia headed the hosts' into a ninth-minute lead when he picked up a pass from Iran side Esteghlal's Mojtaba Jabbari from outside the penalty area.
Javad Nekonam, who plays his club football for Osasuna, doubled up in the 65th minute when he latched onto team-mate Masoud Shojaei's pass, this time from inside the penalty area. Korea DPR's consolation goal came from a 70th-minute header from Jong Tae-Se.
The match was watched by more than 40,000 spectators in Tehran's Azadi stadium and the reslt upheld Iran coach Ali Daei's pre-match prediction of taking all three points.
"As of today I am thinking about our match with the UAE," Daei said referring to the away match to be played on 19 November. "I also thank our spectators who cheered on for 90 minutes. ."
North Korea is a big team and I respect them, this was our most difficult match
Group B "is a difficult group and if we can win in the UAE and then have another win in home turf then we will distance ourselves from the rest of the group," he said. The North Korean coach, Kim Jong Hun, told reporters after the game that "a draw in Tehran would have been a fair result."
"Iran is a powerful team, and we had a difficult situation here," he said. "Unfortunately we could not harness our chances, but game by game we will become better."
Iran have an unbeaten record over Korea DPR, winning 10 times and drawing three.