Iran held 2018 World Cup host, Russia, to a 1-1 draw in a friendly in Kazan on Tuesday.
Having beaten Togo 2-0 in a friendly tie in Tehran on Thursday night, Carlos Queiroz’s men went into what promised to be a tougher test in their preparation for the main event as the host had beaten South Korea 4-2 three days earlier.
Sardar Azmoun gave the Asian giant the lead right before the hour mark after a goalless first-half had seen the chances come few and far-between in both sides’ ways.
Mehdi Taremi made a brilliant run through the left flank on a counter-attack before putting Rubin Kazan’s international striker against an unguarded goal to score his 22th goal in Iran’s outfit.
Russia bounced back in the 74th minute when Zenit St. Petersburg’s Dmitriyevich Poloz converted Alexander Samedov's cross with a side-footed touch in the six-yard box to make the final score 1-1.
"It was a good game and an excellent lesson for us," Queiroz said after the draw.
"I really enjoyed the football today but we still have plenty of homework to do," the Portuguese added.
"After the break we looked a lot better but then we conceded a goal on a counter-attack," Stanislav Cherchesov said after he experienced his fourth draw in 14 matches as Russia’s manager since he took over in August 2016.
"I'm pleased with my team's reaction as we have not only levelled but created more scoring chances.
"Now we need to analyze our performance in the matches with South Korea and Iran to draw the right conclusions."