US-Iran prep for showdown, Tuesday best bets

It was a Monday morning filled with objectives on the World Cup, with the 5 a.m. opener of Cameroon vs. Serbia delivering the drama, and Ghana and South Korea ratcheting up the stress themselves. Plus, the United States males’s nationwide staff make their closing preparations for a must-win group stage finale in opposition to Iran on Tuesday.

Be certain to verify in with ESPN all through the event as we carry you the most recent from Qatar. Here’s what you may need missed from the Monday World Cup happenings, and a sit up for what’s subsequent on Tuesday.

– World Cup information, options, previews and extra
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US, Iran put together for contentious group finale

It’s been 24 years for the reason that United States confronted Iran. It didn’t go effectively for the USMNT at France ’98, ending in a 2-1 defeat that eradicated them from the event. If supervisor Gregg Berhalter desires to keep away from one other embarrassing group stage exit, he’ll want to guide his staff to victory on Tuesday on the Al Thumama Stadium.

– How the US, Iran match up on the pitch as tensions rise off it

Much extra can be requested of Berhalter and his counterpart with Iran, Carlos Queiroz, although, as this recreation will not simply come all the way down to ways and personnel choices. The geopolitical rivalry between these two nations has loomed giant ever since April’s draw, and occasions in Qatar have completed little to defuse that simmering animosity.

Throughout this World Cup, the Iranian staff have been requested concerning the protests of their residence nation, two months of unrest following the demise of a 22-year-old girl whereas in custody of the nation’s morality police, ensuing within the deaths of 410 protestors. The US Soccer Federation wished to point out their assist for the protestors by scrubbing the symbol of the Islamic Republic from Iran’s flag on social media, which introduced a stark rebuke from the nation and widespread condemnation. It did not assist issues that ex-USMNT supervisor Jurgen Klinsmann criticised Iranian soccer tradition within the wake of their 2-0 win over Wales on Friday, feedback that Queiroz known as a “disgrace to football.”

The stress that has constructed up forward of this recreation is thick, paying homage to that politically charged assembly in the summertime of 1998 in Lyon, and the stakes are related. The Americans’ destiny at this World Cup rests on profitable this recreation; something in need of that and they’re going to undergo their third group stage exit of their previous six event appearances.

Between all that has transpired off the pitch, and the stakes on it, this stands to be some of the contentious, intense matches of this group stage.

Finally, a 5 a.m. kickoff value waking up for

This World Cup has gotten off to a sluggish begin. Not within the broader sense, in fact, however by way of every day’s first match. In the six 5 a.m. ET kickoffs to date this event, simply eight objectives have been scored.

Cameroon and Serbia sought to vary that up on Monday.

Jean-Charles Castelletto staked Cameroon to a lead on 29 minutes, however Strahinja Pavlovic and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic every scored in first-half stoppage time to place Serbia in entrance on the interval. Aleksandar Mitrovic struck simply eight minutes after the interval to make it a 3-1 lead, solely for Vincent Aboubakar and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting to attain within the 63rd and 66th minutes to stage the rating.

It would end all sq., 3-3, marking simply the third time an African nation had ever overcome a two-goal deficit to say a end result (South Africa in opposition to Paraguay in 2002 and Ivory Coast in opposition to Serbia and Montenegro in 2006). The six objectives in 90 minutes made the morning’s espresso superfluous, particularly in distinction to the remainder of the decaffeinated encounters we have witnessed at daybreak.

Oh, and the enjoyable did not cease when the full-time whistle blew. An hour later, when Ghana and South Korea kicked off at 8 a.m. ET, they handled us to a five-goal thriller themselves: the Black Stars leaping out to a 2-0 lead by objectives from Mohammed Salisu and Mohammed Kudus, solely for the Tigers of Asia to stage the rating with a Cho Gue-Sung brace scored three minutes aside. Seven minutes later, although, Kudus struck once more, and Ghana left Education City Stadium with a 3-2 victory.

Today’s high reads

USA-Iran on the 1998 World Cup: Political stress, teammate betrayal and humiliation
This is the story of heartache, betrayal and embarrassment from the gamers who lived the USA’s loss to Iran on the 1998 World Cup.

World Cup fan costumes: Supporters go all out
We’ve seen an astounding array of costumes and fancy gown worn by followers of each staff on the World Cup, with some really sensational outfits noticed.

How Wales followers are making Doha’s ‘Floor of Fun’ really feel like residence
Rhodri Williams’ three eating places, dubbed the ‘Floor of Fun,’ appeal to plenty of Wales followers. It’s one man’s try and make Doha really feel like residence.

Your best bets (odds through Caesars Sportsbook)

If you are trying to wager on the World Cup, ESPN contributors Dan Thomas and Dalen Cuff are right here to offer you key recommendations on odds, choices and futures. Here’s what now we have for the Tuesday matches.

Group A

Netherlands (-650) vs. Qatar (+1750), Draw (+500)

Paul Carr: Netherlands undergo with both a win or a draw, however they need to be motivated to win this recreation in an effort to win Group A and keep away from (most likely) England within the spherical of 16. Having stated that, the Dutch have been extraordinarily unimpressive in opposition to Ecuador, taking solely two pictures the complete recreation. I do not belief them to cowl the aim line, and I lean towards Qatar at +1.5 (+135).

Dalen Cuff: The Dutch have but to play a strong 90 minutes on this event — and Ecuador have been the higher facet in opposition to them. They can be motivated to win, however I’m not taking part in this match. It’s powerful to search out worth wherever, and I like Paul’s thought above, however Qatar have been so unhealthy I can not put my cash on them performing.

Ecuador (+140) vs. Senegal (+205), Draw (+215)

Carr: Assuming Enner Valencia performs, I lean Ecuador right here. They’ve merely been higher than Senegal at each ends by two video games, permitting solely seven pictures — and simply one in all which was inside 14 yards. Senegal should win to advance, so sooner or later they’re going to open up, which performs proper into Ecuador’s arms … er … ft.

Cuff: I’ve been bullish on Ecuador this event, they usually’ve delivered in each matches. Valencia’s availability is essential. If he performs, I would go together with a straight win wager. Regardless of their capacity to attain, they seem to be a stout defensive group and groups (together with the Dutch) battle to generate probabilities in opposition to them. My favourite play right here is Ecuador to maintain a clear sheet (+160).

Group B

United States (-110) vs. Iran (+320), Draw (+235)

Carr: My favourite wager right here is underneath 0.5 objectives within the first half (+170). Things would possibly get bizarre late within the recreation, however I believe each groups will once more begin out cautiously, realizing how a lot one aim can change every part.

Cuff: I’m additionally on underneath 0.5 objectives within the first half. However, I do suppose the US will win this match — and I’m not being biased. I firmly consider that, should you took this similar American facet with their previous performances and put them in a distinct jersey, I’d merely say the US is a greater squad than Iran. I’ll go together with a straight win wager (+101).

Wales (+675) vs. England (-235), Draw (+330)

Carr: I’m shocked that underneath 2.5 objectives is even cash right here. Wales are pretty much as good defensively as their fame, however England additionally have not been nice offensively. Even within the 6-2 win over Iran, England had “only” 2.1 anticipated objectives, that means they only had an enormous ending scorching streak in that recreation. I wasn’t ready to take the underneath as a result of I figured it will be closely juiced, so I find it irresistible at even cash.

Cuff: The underneath right here has gotten juiced to -125 — and rightfully so. I think about issues will proceed in that course. Wales’ assault is insipid. England’s hasn’t been impressed both, however their expertise is apparent. I like England to win to nil (+110).

News and notes

  • Queiroz stated on Monday his facet is not going to use off-field controversy as motivation of their essential World Cup Group B conflict in opposition to the US on Tuesday. The buildup to the sport has been marred by tensions between the nation’s soccer our bodies, together with US Soccer’s social media accounts displaying the Iranian flag with out its Islamic emblem, which led to the Iranian federation calling on FIFA to take motion in opposition to the USSF. “If after 42 years in this game, I still believe I can win football matches by mental games, I think I didn’t learn about the game,” Queiroz stated.

  • Cameroon goalkeeper Andre Onana was ignored of the staff for their 3-3 draw with Serbia on Monday attributable to “disciplinary reasons” and his availability for Friday’s match in opposition to Brazil has but to be decided, in accordance with coach Rigobert Song. The supervisor was unwilling to offer particular particulars of Onana’s exclusion and stated there could be time to debate the difficulty in additional element sooner or later, however sources have instructed ESPN that Onana and Song clashed over the coach’s most popular defensive method.

  • Berhalter stated on Monday that he and his gamers had no half in US Soccer social media posts that eliminated the central picture of Iran’s flag, has apologized for them and has insisted that the main target of his staff is on the decisive Group B match. The US coach added that his ideas are with the Iranian folks, a lot of whom have engaged in protests over the remedy of ladies after the demise of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who had been detained by the nation’s morality police. “We had no idea about what US Soccer put out — the staff, the players had no idea,” Berhalter stated. “And for us, our focus is on this match. I don’t want to sound aloof or not caring by saying that, but the guys that worked really hard for the last four years, we have 72 hours between England and Iran, and we really are just focused on how to get past Iran and [how] we can go to this knockout stage of the tournament.”

  • A protester carrying a satisfaction flag entered the pitch throughout Portugal’s win over Uruguay on Monday earlier than being led away by safety employees. The pitch invader, who briefly stopped the Group H match within the second half, was additionally carrying a T-shirt carrying the messages “respect for Iranian women” and “save Ukraine.” After the match, Portugal midfielder Ruben Neves stated: “We know what has happened around this World Cup. It’s a normal thing to happen. Of course, we are all with them as well. Iran as well, because I saw his shirt. I hope nothing happens to the boy because we understand his message and I think all the world understood it as well.”

What else caught our eye

Give it up for Niclas Fullkrug, who received to reside each sports activities fan’s dream in scoring a giant aim on the World Cup as Germany fought again for a 1-1 draw with Spain on Sunday. Now, you may relive the aim in Lego kind.



Niclas Füllkrug’s equalizing aim for Germany vs. Spain on the World Cup will get the complete Lego remedy.

Matches on faucet for Tuesday

Group A: Netherlands vs. Qatar (Al Bayt Stadium; 10 a.m. ET)

The host nation has nothing however satisfaction to play for on Tuesday as they have been the primary staff of the 32 to be eradicated, however satisfaction goes a good distance. Can they add to their World Cup objectives in opposition to a sturdy Oranje staff that may high the group — and face the Group B runners-up within the final 16 — with a victory of their very own? We suppose the Dutch make it three wins from three right here.

Group A: Ecuador vs. Senegal (Khalifa International Stadium; 10 a.m. ET)

Ecuador have a one-point edge on the at all times harmful African facet heading into their decider, however both might advance from the group with a win. The seemingly ageless Enner Valencia (who turned 33 two weeks earlier than the World Cup started) has scored all of Ecuador’s objectives to date; can another person step up? As for Senegal, many consultants thought the harm to Sadio Mane doomed them to an early exit, however a 3-1 win over Qatar final Friday exhibits they nonetheless have loads of firepower.

Group B: Iran vs. USA (Al Thumama Stadium; 2 p.m. ET)

We lined this on the high, nevertheless it’s actually the last word state of affairs in sports activities: win or go residence. The query is … who will win and who will go residence?

Group B: Wales vs. England (Ahmad bin Ali Stadium; 2 p.m. ET)

Gareth Southgate’s facet performed to a 0-0 snoozer in opposition to the US on Friday that does not damage their possibilities of advancing — they’ve 4 factors from two video games, sufficient to high Group B — however they’re going to wish to present a bit extra life and spark with the intention to defeat their noisy neighbours. Meanwhile, in what may very well be Gareth Bale’s final skilled recreation, would there be any higher goodbye to the nationwide staff than a game-winning aim that beats England and places you into the final 16? Anything might occur … together with that.

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