Iran overcomes 'gifted' Uzbekistan to take 2-1 win

Iran recovered from an early setback with two second-half goals for a 2-1 win over Uzbekistan in its opening AFC Asian Cup 2007 match in Group C played in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Iranian defender Rahman Rezaei's attempt to clear a long lob from Uzbek midfield playmaker Server Djeparov in the 16th minute resulted in an own goal. Javad Kazemian replaced Rassoul Khatibi after the break and Iran's attack intensified, resulting in goals in the 55th and 78th minutes. Seyed Hosseini's header from Mehdi Mahdavikia's corner gave Iran the equalizer and Kazemian latched onto a pass from Karimi to fire the winner.

Iran coach Amir Ghalenoei, who was banished to the stand for excessive arguing with the referee late in the second half, said his team deserved the three points. "Uzbekistan is a well-prepared team but it was the mistake of our defense which gifted the goal," he said. "We changed the tactics in the second half and that produced the right results for us."