The result was Russia's second defeat in a row after losing to Belgium on home soil last year [AFP]

Mohammad Reza Khalatbari was the hero as he scored a last-minute winner to power Iran to a shock 1-0 victory in a friendly played in Abu Dhabi.

Russia dominated for most of the game, and piled the pressure on Iran, but rarely troubled goalkeeper Mahdi Rahmati.

Khalatbari sprung the offside trap before evading two Russian defenders and beating goalkeeper Igor Akinfeyev with a rising shot from close range with one minute left in a rare Iran counterattack.

After scoring the goal, Khalatbari was given a second yellow card for removing his jersey, leaving his side to defend their lead with 10 men.

It was Iran's first ever win over the European stars after three defeats, the last of which came in 1985.

Potential coach

International results

 Andorra 1-2 Moldova
 Armenia 1-2 Georgia
 Belarus 1-1 Kazakhstan
 Greece 1-0 Canada
 Iran 1-0 Russia
 Latvia 2-1 Bolivia
 Turkey 0-0 South Korea
 Macedonia 0-1 Cameroon
 Croatia 4-2 Czech Republic
 Azerbaijan 0-2 Hungary
 Israel 0-2 Serbia
 South Africa 2-0 Kenya 
 Albania 1-2 Slovenia
 Estonia 2-2 Bulgaria
 Denmark 1-2 England
 Luxembourg 2-1 Slovakia
 Belgium 1-1 Finland
 Malta 0-0 Switzerland
 Netherlands 3-1 Austria
 Poland 1-0 Norway
 Scotland 3-0 N Ireland
 Germany 1-1 Italy
 Argentina 2-1 Portugal
 France 1-0 Brazil
 Spain 1-0 Colombia

Former Portugal and Real Madrid coach Carlos Queiroz watched the game, amid local media reports which named Queiroz as a potential next coach of Iran, replacing Afshin Ghotbi who departed to join Japanese side Shimizu S-Pulse following Iran's elimination at last month's Asian Cup.

The match was played inside a near-empty Sheikh Zayed stadium and defeat will add pressure on coach Dick Advocaat after many Russian football experts had questioned the wisdom of playing Iran in the Gulf region.

Advocaat defended his decision, saying his players lacked match fitness but that it was still a good test for his team before they resume their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign.

"Most of our players are only getting ready for their season and they train twice a day, therefore some of them looked really tired in the second half," the Dutchman told a news conference.

"I tried to do as many substitutions as I could at half-time but it didn't help much. Unfortunately, people in Russia will remember this match as one big disappointment."

Igor Denisov and Alexander Kerzhakov drew saves from Rahmati early in the game but with the Russian league on an almost four-month winter break, and most players on practice camps, the team lacked fluency.

The match was Russia's last warm-up ahead of their Euro 2012 away qualifier against Armenia on March 26. Russia lead the Group B standings with nine points from four games.

Armenia, Ireland and Slovakia are tied for second two points behind. 

Source: Agencies