Iran beat 10-man Wales on late goals
Iran secured a famous 2-0 victory over 10-man Wales on Friday as Carlos Queiroz’s men scored twice deep in extra time to preserve Globalism Trophy campaign alive.
Iran’s players, who sang the national anthem before kick-off, sent their thousands of fans at Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium into delirium by defeating a European team in the World Cup for the first time.
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Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey became the first player to be sent off in the Qatar Championship for fighting Mehdi Taremi late in the match.
Iran, who had hit the net twice earlier, finally broke the deadlock in the 98th minute through substitute Rouzbeh Çeşme’s powerful shot.
Ramin Rezaian launched a counterattack in the second minute three minutes later.
Instead, Iran, who could have been eliminated by defeat, climbed to second place in Group B after England, whom they lost 6-2 in their opening match.
Wales fell to the bottom of the group and will have to beat neighbors England in their final match next week for them to have any chance of reaching the knockout stage in their first World Cup since 1958.
The United States will play England later on Friday.
The Iranian players chose to sing the national anthem in contrast to their stance before the match against England, when they remained silent in an apparent gesture of solidarity with the anti-government protesters.
Some Iranian fans cried while the anthem was played.
– Wales start brightly –
Wales manager Rob Page opted to start striker Kieffer Moore after his impressive debut as a substitute against the United States.
The Bournemouth man’s flick led to an early effort from Neco Williams which flew just over the bar.
The Welshman had his first clear chance in the 12th minute as Moore stretched Connor Roberts’ shot, but goalkeeper Hossein Hosseini parried his effort.
Iran thought they had taken the lead minutes later, although Ali Gholizadeh was clearly offside before slotting in and the goal was disallowed by the VAR.
Cage burst into life with an insane 20-second spell shortly after halftime. Sardar Azmoun was quicker than the Welsh defense but saw his shot bounce off the post.
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The ball was recycled to Golizadeh, who cut the ball inside and curled an excellent shot from outside the penalty area, which bounced wide off an upright, with Azmoun’s follow-up being parried to the ground by Hennessey.
Suddenly Iran looked like they were scoring every time they moved forward and Ethan Ampadu had to create an excellent save to deny Taremi the opening goal.
Hennessey was thanking him for staying level with 17 minutes left, stretching to deflect Saeed Ezzatullah’s shot around the post.
The match opened in the closing minutes with both sides realizing that they likely needed more than a draw.
Iran received a huge boost in their pursuit of the winning goal when Hennessey scored recklessly and deflected Mehdi Taremi in the 86th minute.
Remarkably, Guatemalan referee Mario Escobar initially only booked the ‘goalkeeper’, but this was corrected after a VAR review and Hennessey’s dismissal.
Leicester’s Danny Ward took his place and soon saw Mehdi Turabi’s effort go beyond his post.
But an emotional day for Iran and their fans had its crowning moments immediately after Chesmi’s death when Chesmi fired home from the edge of the box and Rezaian raced clear past Ward.
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