The Matildas get their Olympic qualifying campaign off to a good start, with Ellie Carpenter and Sam Kerr getting on the score-sheet, but it was a much tougher task than perhaps what they were expecting.
Iran sat deep and defended like their lives depended on it, throwing themselves in front of every cross and pass aimed towards their penalty area, with goalkeeper Zahra Khajavi having a stand-out performance.
It was an experimental side from Tony Gustavsson, with several big names starting on the bench, and there was a noticeable lack of chemistry and cohesion among some of the newer players.
The young Amy Sayer was the most impressive newbie, providing some dynamism and spark through midfield, while Emily Van Egmond and Clare Wheeler offered some much-needed calmness and control.
Yet the Matildas struggled to find avenues to goal, with Cortnee Vine and Tameka Yallop having a couple bright moments, though it was Carpenter who eventually found the opener after a scramble in the box.
The jammy first half from Australia just made the quality of their World Cup stars even more obvious, with Mary Fowler and Steph Catley in particular adding a different level of class and choreography to the contest.
It’s always a challenge breaking down deep defensive blocks, which is something the Matildas have traditionally struggled with, especially in Asian competitions.
With two games left against opponents who could pull out similar tactics, Australia will have to be smarter and more patient in their attacking phases, and far more clinical in front of goal.
But in the end, a win is a win, and this was a game as much about shaking off the rust as it was getting the three points.
Australia will next face the Philippines on Sunday afternoon at Optus Stadium, kicking off at 6:10pm AEDT.
And I’ll be back on the blog to take you through it all!
Thanks so much for joining us tonight, and go Tillies!