Wales 0 – 2 Iran


Ten-man Wales suffered World Cup heartbreak as two targets deep in second-half stoppage time sealed a 2-0 victory for Iran to depart their knockout hopes hanging by a thread.

Roozbeh Cheshmi’s gorgeous objective within the eighth minute of added time broke Wales’ resistance after goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey had been proven a straight pink card for racing off his line and fouling Mehdi Taremi within the 84th minute.

Iran then added their second with virtually the final kick of the sport when Ramin Rezaeian completed off one other fast counter-assault with a cool end over substitute goalkeeper Danny Ward.

Wales had been looking for a victory with a purpose to enhance their hopes of reaching the knockout phases having come from behind to attract 1-1 with USA of their opening sport, however they struggled to interrupt Iran down, with Gareth Bale, changing into their most-capped participant on his a hundred and tenth look, unable to encourage any extra heroics.

The outcome means Rob Page’s facet might want to beat England of their last Group B sport to have any hope of reaching the final 16, whereas Iran, a lot-improved from their 6-2 loss to Gareth Southgate’s facet, have renewed hope of reaching the feat for the primary time.

Big moments within the sport…

  • Pre-match: Iran gamers sing nationwide anthem to loud jeers from followers
  • 12 min: Moore sends a giant probability stragiht at Hosseini
  • 15 min: Iran objective dominated out by VAR for offside
  • 52 min: Iran hit the put up twice in fast succession
  • 86 min: Hennessey proven straight pink following VAR examine
  • 90+8 min: Cheshmi breaks impasse with gorgeous objective
  • 90+11 min: Rezaeian provides second Iran objective on the dying

How Iran broke Welsh hearts

Much of the main target was on off-subject issues forward of kick-off, with followers encountering extra ticketing issues as they tried to enter the stadium and Iran’s nationwide anthem met with loud jeers inside the bottom.

Carlos Queiroz’s gamers had refused to sing the anthem forward of their sport in opposition to England as an act of solidarity with these protesting for girls’s rights within the nation, however on this event they did, at the same time as these within the stands voiced their anger.

When the motion acquired underneath manner, it rapidly grew to become clear that Iran could be a far trickier opponent for Wales than they had been for England, with the inclusion of star striker Sardar Azmoun, totally match once more following an damage, one among six modifications to the workforce.

Kieffer Moore and Majid Hosseini compete for a header during the World Cup, group B match between Wales and Iran
Kieffer Moore and Majid Hosseini compete for a header

It was Wales, although, who created the primary probability when Kieffer Moore, beginning instead of Dan James after his sport-altering look from the bench in opposition to USA, poked a detailed-vary shot straight at Hossein Hosseini from Conner Roberts’ cross.

Within minutes, Iran had the ball within the web on the different finish, Ali Gholizadeh slotting residence from Azmoun’s go, just for VAR to intervene and accurately rule the objective out for offside.

That probability got here from Welsh sloppiness in possession and it proved a theme of their efficiency, Page’s facet missing the guile and composure to essentially hassle their cussed opponents.

A tense sport exploded into life quickly after the break, with Azmoun slamming a shot in opposition to the put up having acquired in behind the Welsh defence, then heading too near Hennessey after Gholizadeh’s observe-up effort from distance had come again off the opposite upright.

Wayne Hennessey is shown a red card for his challenge on Mehdi Taremi (R)
Wayne Hennessey is proven a pink card for his problem on Mehdi Taremi

Page tried to present Wales recent impetus with a raft of substitutions, together with the introduction of the match-once more Joe Allen, however Iran continued to look extra possible, with Saeid Ezatolahi forcing a sprawling save from Hennessey with an extended-vary effort.

Ben Davies went shut with one among few Wales possibilities quickly after that, his highly effective effort from Moore’s lay-off tipped over by Hosseini, however Hennessey’s pink card got here simply seconds later.

The 35-yr-outdated was initially solely proven a yellow card, however the reserving was rightly upgraded to a pink following a VAR examine, the person benefit permitting Iran to ramp up the strain within the closing phases.

The red card was a pivotal moment, with Iran achieving final-third domination into second-half stoppage-time and scoring two goals
The pink card was a pivotal second, with Iran reaching last-third domination into second-half stoppage-time and scoring two targets

It appeared like Wales would maintain out for a degree, however substitute Cheshmi’s sensational strike, fired into the underside nook from 25 yards out, broke their hearts earlier than Rezaeian’s second rubbed salt into their wounds.

Their hopes of reaching the final 16 should not over, however a last group sport in opposition to England, a fixture they have to now win, appears to be like a frightening problem for a facet left in fourth place in Group B.


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Robbie Earnshaw watches in despair on as 10-man Wales concede two late targets to Iran within the FIFA World Cup.

Bale: We’re gutted however we should get well

Wayne Hennessey is consoled by Gareth Bale after being sent off
Wayne Hennessey is consoled by Gareth Bale after being despatched off

Wales captain Gareth Bale stated on BBC: “It’s gutting, we’re gutted. There’s no other way to say it.

“We fought till the final second but it surely’s a type of issues, it is tough to take, however we have now to get well and go once more.

“We have to pick ourselves up straight away. It’s going to be difficult, but we have one game left in the group and have to look at every positive and still try to enjoy the occasion.

On Wayne Hennessey’s red card, he added: “I have not seen it so I do not know (if it was a pink) however the pink card modifications the sport utterly. Obviously, we let the primary one in and the second objective would not matter.

“We recover and he have to go again.”

Analysis: Welsh reliance on Bale uncovered

Gareth Bale looks dejected after Wales lose late in the game to Iran
Gareth Bale appears to be like dejected after Wales lose late within the sport to Iran

This was a historic sport for Gareth Bale, his a hundred and tenth worldwide look seeing him overtake Chris Gunter as Wales’ most-capped participant, however it’s not one he’ll bear in mind fondly.

Bale had but once more delivered when his nation wanted him most in opposition to USA, successful and changing the penalty which clinched their 1-1 draw on the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium.

But there was to be no repeat of these heroics in opposition to Iran, with Bale unable to exert his traditional affect, the 33-yr-outdated restricted to 36 touches, the fewest of any participant to finish the sport.

In the tip, the efficiency and outcome uncovered Wales’ reliance on their talisman. Kieffer Moore was a helpful outlet at instances, however when Bale doesn’t spark, neither do his workforce-mates.

That is to not say he needs to be blamed, after all. In reality, different senior gamers had been equally poor, with Aaron Ramsey clearly missing health in central midfield and goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey punished for the lapse that led to his pink card.

But inevitably the highlight finally ends up on Bale. Wales will want extra from him if they’re to beat England and upset the chances to say a spot within the knockout phases, however within the lengthy-time period they have to discover different options, and a brand new era able to constructing on the progress he has pushed.

What the managers stated…

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Wales followers at a fanzone in Swansea react to their defeat to Iran

Wales supervisor Rob Page: “Our performance before the red card was not acceptable.

“We hoped it will all come collectively right this moment, however we had been nowhere close to the degrees we have set and the requirements we have set in latest video games.

“One or two you can carry, but when there are so many off days there is only one outcome.

“I at all times take duty, that is my workforce, the sending off did not assist after all however at that time we had 5 forwards on the pitch so could not get a defensive form.

“But yes I’ll always take responsibility for performances. It’s a difficult changing room at the minute but we will be ready [against England], it’s a local derby and a great game to finish on and we’ll be prepared to go.”

Iran boss Carlos Queiroz: “Two points. We played today with amazing character, which is the profile of our team. We play with a sense of unity, cohesion. After the first game we need to get back on route.

“The second level was to eliminate this unhealthy feeling of bleeding. Football is a sport of various moments. It’s not since you win or lose.

“Sometimes you lose your dignity, your honour, but of course in our first game we were bleeding in our pride.

This was an opportunity to rebound. We put a good [bandage] to stop the bleeding.

“We performed brilliantly and deserved to win.”

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Sky Sports’ Geraint Hughes discusses how some Iranian followers protested earlier than and through their FIFA World Cup match in opposition to Iran.

What does the outcome imply?

The defeat leaves Wales backside of Group B with one level from two video games, which means they have to beat England of their last sport on Tuesday at 7pm to have any hope of progressing to the final 16.

Iran transfer to a few factors, placing them in a powerful place to succeed in the knockout phases forward of their last group sport in opposition to USA, additionally at 7pm on Tuesday.

Player of the match – Ramin Rezaeian

Ramin Rezaeian celebrates after scoring Iran's second goal
Ramin Rezaeian celebrates after scoring Iran’s second objective

The proper-again was an unused substitute in Iran’s 6-2 thrashing by England however he’s positive to maintain his place within the workforce now.

Rezaeian was an brisk presence all through, serving to to maintain Gareth Bale quiet at one finish and taking his probability brilliantly for Iran’s second objective on the different.

Wales’ winless streak – Opta stats

  • Wales (D2 L5) have now gone seven video games with no victory in all competitions for the primary time since May 2003.
  • Iran have scored 4 targets already on the 2022 World Cup, twice as many targets as they managed in any earlier version of the competitors.
  • Wales conceded a couple of objective in a World Cup match for the primary time ever.
  • Wales’ Wayne Hennessey was simply the third goalkeeper to be despatched off on the World Cup, after Gianluca Pagliuca for Italy in opposition to Norway in 1994 and Itumeleng Khune for South Africa in opposition to Uruguay in 2010.
  • Roozbeh Cheshmi’s opener for Iran, on 97 minutes 56 seconds, was the most recent successful objective ever scored on the World Cup, excluding further-time, since precise objective instances can be found for the competitors (since 1966).
  • Gareth Bale made his a hundred and tenth senior look for Wales, turn into the outright most capped participant for his nation, surpassing Chris Gunter (109).


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