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Daei and Mahdavikia to miss Korea friendly

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Ali Daei was injured during the match against Japan

AFC - Captain Ali Daei and the influential Mehdi Mahdavikia will miss Iran’s friendly with fellow 2006 World Cup qualifiers Korea Republic next Wednesday, according to reports.

Iran coach Branko Ivankovic has rested Daei, the most prolific striker in international football with more than 100 goals, and Hamburg midfielder Mahdavikia because of recent injuries.

Daei was fit enough to play for his club side Saba Battery earlier this week and netted twice in their 3-1 over Sepahan in the Iran Pro League.

Bayern Munich midfielder Ali Karimi, the 2004 AFC Player of the Year, is in the squad along with other Germany-based stars Vahid Hashemian, Ferydoon Zandi and Moharram Navidkia.

In form striker Arash Borhani, who scored three goals for Pas in two matches with Al Ain in the AFC Champions League quarter-finals, was also named in the 22-man squad.

Korea Republic’s new coach Dick Advocaat will take charge of the team for the first time against Iran in Seoul next Wednesday and he has called up the big guns, Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-sung and recent Spurs signing Lee Young-pyo.

Iran were due to play the Thailand under-23 side in Bangkok on Saturday before heading to Korea but called off the match last week.

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