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A closely-fought game went the way of Mali...

Iran lost 2-1 to Mali on Wednesday to move into last place of the four-nation Qatar International Friendly Tournament.

Team Melli are preparing for their vital 2011 Asian Cup qualifier with Singapore on January 6 while the Africans are gearing up for the African Nations Cup.

Iran, who lost 3-2 at the hands of Qatar two days earlier, took the lead after just nine minutes.

Ferydoon Zandi fed Karim Ansarifard and the young forward made no mistake in slotting the ball past Mahamadou Sidibe in the Mali goal.

The West Asians looked likely to add to their lead but were caught on the half hour as Tenema NDiaye equalized from close range.

Just minutes later, Bakaye Traore put the Africans ahead and they held on for the win.

Mali, who lost to North Korea in the opening game, take on Qatar on Saturday while Iran will face the Koreans.

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