Fatorda: Iran beat Mexico 2-1 in a Round-of-16 match of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Tuesday to enter the quarter-finals.

Mohammad Sharifi (seventh minute) and Allahyar Sayyad (11th minute) goals put Iran in command. For Mexico, the lone goal went to R De La Rosa, who found the back of the net in the 37th minute.

Iran were playing without their star striker Mohammad Dawood but they caught a perfect start as they were awarded a penalty in the seventh minute. Mohammad Ghaderi tried to take the ball from Adrian Vasquez through a clumsy challenge in the box, which resulted in the penalty. Sharifi converted the penalty to give Iran an early lead.

Just four minutes later, the Mexican back line seemed to be lost in the middle and as a result Sayyad gathered a long ball, turned and chipped his shot over Mexican goalkeeper Cesar Lopez to make it 2-0.

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After conceding two goals, Mexico changed their strategy and started to attack. Soon, Mexico found their breakthrough in the 37th minute when Roda thumped in a volley from near the edge of the area from a rebound to reduce the goal difference to one.

The goal enlivened the match and Mexico. The last few minutes saw some brilliant efforts from Mexico to equalise but it was too late as Iran’s back-line stood firm and denied the attempts made to seal the issue.

After the win, Iran will meet European champions Spain in the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

With inputs from agencies.