Baku, February 19, AZERTAC
The ever-enthusiastic chants of the Iranian fan base were quieted at the Greco-Roman World Cup Thursday morning as rival Azerbaijan shocked the home squad by the match score, 6-2.
Wrestling without four of the their biggest stars, including Olympic champions Hamid Soryan and Omid Noroozi, the Iranians could only must a pair of victories against an Azerbaijan team that won close matches and rarely gave up extra points.
The Azerbaijanis would later top Germany (7-1) and Sweden (7-1) to make the gold medal finals against Team Russia. The finals appearance will be the first for a Greco-Roman team from Azerbaijan. Their freestyle squad won the World Cup in 2004 and 2009.
For their part the Russians blitzed past their opponents, earning dominating team victories against Hungary (5-3) Turkey (6-2) and Armenia (7-1).