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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Iran Opts for Sleep

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Iran's soccer team snubbed a state reception held in its honor Wednesday, citing tiredness after traveling 40 hours for its World Cup qualifying match against Australia.

Iranian and Australian players were expected at the function but only the hosts turned up.

The teams drew 1-1 on Saturday in the first leg of the contest to decide the 32nd and final spot in next year's World Cup finals.

The visitors arrived in Melbourne at 2 a.m. local time Wednesday to prepare for Saturday night's match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

"They are terribly tired and they went to bed this morning at 5 o'clock, so you can understand that they could not make it,'' a team spokesman said.