As Team Melli has already qualified for the World Cup 1978 Argentina, Heshmat Mohajerani found it a opportunity to field the reserve team in the hope of discovering some solid players on the bench. Only 2 players from the main squad travelled to Kuwait, Hasan Nazari and Ebrahim Ghassimpour.
L2R Standing: Faraki, Fariba, Shojaei , Alidoosti, Mavadat, Fedakar.
Sitting: Haqiqian, Mosallami, Ghasimpour, Nazari , Khabiri
Pictures from the match
Prior to the match , the Kuwait media has started a psychological warfare promising a comprehensive win for their team and accusing Mohajerani of fielding the reserve to have an excuse when his team is comprehensively defeated. The host who was only playing for honor and dignity after failing to make it to the World Cup was soon found themselves ahead from a well executed goal by their striker Faisal Al Dakhil , However , the Iranian youth shook off the initial stunner and as the match was progressing , their confidence was rising proportionally.
After managing to wither the Kuwaiti offensives , the first half finished with that sole Kuwaiti goal. Coach Mohajeraniâ€™s half time talk and some tactical changes seemed to work wonders. The Iranian youngsters took control of the field as soon as the second half started and the result a sooner than expected equalizer was scored with a beautiful shoot from Behtash Fariba. The Kuwait team seemed to re-group and was determined to score and against the run of play , the young aspiring Iranian defender Habib Khabiri stunned the stadium with his long range superb goal on the hour to give Team Melli a 2-1. Despite wave of Kuwaiti attacks , sometimes in desperation , the young Iranian team manage to defend the lead admirably This win ensured the unbeaten run of Team Melli before traveling to 1978 World Cup off to Argentina.