Bahrain holds Iran to 1-1 draw in WCup qualifier

BY foxsports • November 11, 2011

Bahrain held Iran to a 1-1 draw Friday in a politically charged Asian World Cup qualifying match in the restive Gulf kingdom.

Bahrain striker Mohammed al-Ajmi gave the hosts a 1-0 lead at halftime, but Iran midfielder Mojtaba Jabbari scored an equalizer in the 90th minute at the half-empty National Stadium.

Tensions between the two Gulf neighbors have been heightened after protests in Bahrain by the Shiite majority against the Sunni monarchy. Bahrain has accused Iran of encouraging the unrest, while Iran has denounced the Bahrain government's crackdown.

Security was tight Friday and eyewitnesses said Bahrain fans burnt Iranian flags outside the stadium after the match and threw water bottles at the Iranian players as they were leaving the field.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Iran leads Group E with eight points from four matches. Qatar, which beat Indonesia 4-0, trails on goal difference, while Bahrain is third with five points.

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