Iran thanks to an own goal beat Morocco

Iran v  s Morocco

Iran were gifted a late 1-0 victory over Morocco in their opening World Cup match on Friday when Aziz Bouhaddouz headed into his own net five minutes into injury time.

Iran will play Spain on Wednesday while Morocco will be facing Portugal.

Iran's second victory in the final stage of the world Cup.

"No boots, no problems", said commentator Sam Matterface when summing up Iran's 1-0 win, referring to the fact the victors had not been able to receive a delivery of Nike boots, due to USA sanctions.

Iran were unbeaten in all 18 of their qualifying matches. However, they have never reached the knockout stages, winning only one of their 12 games (D3 L8) - against U.S. on 21 June 1998 (2-1).

Either way, Queiroz will take this game by caution and lineup his Iranian side primarily to see if they can find a way past this Morocco defence.

As such, Queiroz views the contest against the Moroccans as a must-win game.

However, their preparations for the tournament were disrupted on Tuesday when Nike said it had withdrawn its supply of boots to Iranian footballers before the World Cup because of new U.S. sanctions.


The game's first clear-cut chance arrived just before the halftime break but Iran's Sardar Azmoun failed to beat Munir from close range.

When Bouhaddouz nodded in at the near post, Iran's substitutes could not resist rushing onto the field and when the final whistle blew moments later they were sprinting over again in delight.

"But in a competition when there are three matches, as long as there are two matches there is always hope whatever the opponent".

Iran won just their second match at the World Cup (drew three, lost eight), with this their first since beating US in June 1998. Renard knows, if there is any chance for Morocco to get past this group and into the knockout phase, they have to make this game against Iran count and grab all three points.

The soccer gods were smiling on Iran here Friday as the Asian side prevailed 1-0 over Morocco in the 2018 World Cup opener for both teams.

Former Manchester United assistant Carlos Queiroz and ex-Cambridge United boss Herve Renard will look to navigate their respective nations out of a tricky group which includes Portugal and Spain.

The only surprise was Morocco were not ahead as Ziyach kicked the air from a well-worked corner, El Kaabi sliced wide and a penalty-box scramble saw shots from Younes Belhanda and Benatia blocked.

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