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Austria beat Iran 5-1 as Polster says farewell

VIENNA, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Austria earned their first win in 2000 by thrashing Iran 5-1 in an emotional international friendly on Friday in wich Austria's veteran striker Toni Polster made his farewell.

Goals by Andreas Herzog, Tomislav Kocijan, Christian Mayrleb (two) and Dietmar Kuehbauer served as a morale-booster forAustria's World Cup qualifying campaign, which starts on October 7 against Liechtenstein.

Austria at first looked set to continue a series of disappointing showings when Iranian Farhad Majidi profited from a major defensive error to score in the sixth minute.

But Herzog equalised in the 39th minute with an indirect free-kick and Kocijan made it 2-1 for Austria five minutes later on his debut for the national side.

Mayrleb scored in the 47 minute and added another after a solo run in the 68th minute after Dietmar Kuehbauer had netted with a long-range shot in the 66th minute.

Polster, 35, capped a record 95 times in which he scored an Austrian record 44 goals, played for the opening 20 minutes and almost headed a goal in the 14th minute.

Polster, who made his last full appearance for Austria against Italy in the 1998 World Cup finals in France, also sang his latest single "Servus" (Goodbye) on the pitch during the interval.

Polster played for a number of foreign clubs -- AC Turin, Sevilla, Rayo Vallecano, Cologne and Borussia Moenchengladbach -- and ended his club career at SV Salzburg last season.

He will begin working as a marketing consultant for Germany's Borussia Moenchengladbach this month.


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