Tuesday, 11 February, 2020

Iran say goodbye to 2018 World Cup

Iran national football team failed to advance to the 2018 World Cup next stage, however Team Melli wrote history by earning four points for the first time in the World Cup finals.

Iran finished 1-1 with UEFA champions Portugal at the Mordovia Arena on Monday.

Iran, who had a brilliant performance against Spain at Kazan Arena on Wednesday, did not allow Portugal to break through until the 45th minute when Ricardo Quaresma broke the deadlock with a stunning goal.

The 34-year-old’s right-footed shot, which came off a give-and-go with Adrien Silva, curled the ball past goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand.

Eight minutes into the second half, Cristiano Ronaldo could have scored his tournament’s fifth goal with a penalty which was awarded Portugal by video assistant referee (VAR).

Beiranvand saved Ronaldo’s penalty to deny a Portugal 2-0 lead.

Soon after, Iran put Portugal under pressure and could have equalized the match but sub Saman Ghoddos but his shot went inches wide of the post.

In the 83rd minute, Ronaldo received a yellow card after elbowing Morteza Pouraliganji.

Iran were awarded a penalty kick after a VAR review determined that Portugal’s Cedric Soares committed a handball in the box in the stoppage time.

Karim Ansarifard, who came off the bench, drilled the penalty into the upper right corner of the goal.

Mehdi Taremi could score Iran’s second goal but he missed his outstanding chance in front of the goal.

Spain’s 2-2 draw against Morocco means Portugal finished second in Group B and will face Group A champions Uruguay next on Saturday in Sochi.

Spain won the group, while Iran and Morocco are headed home.

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