Iran late present breaks 10-man Wales as Bale struggles


DOHA, Qatar —Iran saved their hopes of qualification for the World Cup spherical of 16 alive by scoring twice within the remaining 11 minutes of stoppage time to beat Wales 2-0 and throw Group B huge open.

After Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey was despatched off within the 86th minute for a foul on Mehdi Taremi exterior the field, Rob Web page’s workforce have been overrun by the Iranians, who scored by way of Rouzbeh Cheshmi and Ramin Rezaeian. Iran had earlier hit the submit twice in a dominant efficiency and totally deserved their late win.

Iran’s victory implies that they now go into Tuesday’s remaining group recreation in opposition to the US realizing {that a} win will take them into the knockout levels.

Wales, in the meantime, now must beat England on Tuesday to have any hope of reaching the spherical of 16.

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Speedy Response

1. Hennessey purple expensive as Iran strike late

Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey earned himself the doubtful distinction of turning into the primary participant to be despatched off at Qatar 2022 and did so with a foul that earned comparisons with one of the notorious moments in World Cup historical past.

The 35-year-old was initially proven a yellow card by Guatemalan referee Mario Escobar after racing out of his penalty space earlier than colliding with Iran ahead Taremi, however it was the definition of a transparent and apparent error by the official.

VAR official, the Canadian Drew Fischer, known as a assessment and Escobar rescinded the yellow card and issued a purple as a substitute.

It was a loopy choice by Hennessey to race out of his space and a transparent purple card, so harmful was his problem, which was a excessive foot that caught Taremi within the chest.

The foul introduced again pictures of West Germany goalkeeper Harald Schumacher’s foul on France’s Patrick Battiston through the 1982 World Cup semifinal. Battiston suffered broken vertebrae within the incident, whereas Schumacher was not even booked.

Hennessey’s purple card proved vastly expensive for Wales who, right down to 10 males, conceded two stoppage time targets to Cheshmi and Rezaeian. However Iran have been a lot the higher facet all through — hitting the submit twice inside a nine-second spell — and deserved their victory which retains their hopes alive and leaves Wales needing to beat England to have any probability of reaching the second spherical.

Iran anthem protests ship a message

The political scenario in Iran and the continuing protests in opposition to the ruling regime following the demise of Mahsa Amini in September have accompanied the nation’s soccer workforce each step of the way in which in Qatar and it was the identical in opposition to Wales.

With coach Carlos Queiroz’s gamers all bravely refusing to sing the nationwide anthem previous to the 6-2 defeat in opposition to England within the opening recreation, the squad have been proven solely mumbling the phrases forward of the Wales conflict in a half-hearted method. A number of the gamers as soon as once more selected to not sing the anthem, lower than 24 hours after former participant Voria Ghafouri was arrested for “insulting the national football team and propagandising against the government.”

Whether or not the Iran gamers had been positioned below stress to sing the anthem by the regime just isn’t recognized, however the response of the Iranian followers inside the bottom was one other rebuke to the Tehran authorities.

Whereas the Wales followers sang their very own anthem loudly, many Iranians whistled and jeers theirs. One fan was proven crying on the large screens within the stadium, whereas supporters applauded when pictures of Iranian ladies have been displayed on the finish of the anthem.

Outdoors the stadium, pro-government supporters clashed with these in opposition to the regime, whereas inside, one feminine supporter was pictured having her Iran shirt bearing Amini’s identify confiscated by safety.

No matter occurs to Iran on the pitch at this World Cup, their gamers and supporters have despatched extremely highly effective pictures to the remainder of the world to focus on the scenario of their nation.

And having claimed such a dramatic victory on this recreation, Iran’s story may but proceed into the knockout levels. For that to occur, they have to beat the US in what will likely be one other highly-charged recreation on Tuesday.

3. Bale placing it all of the desk for Wales

Gareth Bale has made it clear that enjoying for Wales within the World Cup is the head of his profession, regardless of having gained 5 Champions League medals with Actual Madrid, and the 33-year-old going above and past for his nation in Qatar.

His look in opposition to Iran, which made him the most-capped male Welsh participant of all-time with 110, was his second 90 minutes within the house of 4 days and, for Bale, that could be a huge deal.

The 33-year-old did not even handle one 90-minute outing throughout his six-month stint at MLS facet LAFC this season and hasn’t had a full recreation at membership stage since enjoying for Tottenham in opposition to Wycombe in January 2021.

Bale has to handle his time on the pitch because of the health points which have affected the later levels of his profession, so enjoying three group video games in 9 days in Qatar was at all times going to be a problem for a participant who final performed successive 90 minutes for Wales in World Cup qualifiers in opposition to Belarus and Estonia in September 2021.

He did little within the opening recreation in opposition to the US earlier than scoring his essential penalty equaliser, whereas he did even much less in opposition to Iran, touching the ball simply 19 instances within the opening hour of the sport.

Bale has by no means denied that he might retire on the finish of this World Cup, so Tuesday’s recreation in opposition to England might be the top of the street for one of many greatest stars within the recreation.

However Bale does soccer fairytales like few others – keep in mind his stoppage time winner for LAFC within the MLS Cup remaining – so a 3rd straight recreation in opposition to outdated rivals England may simply be the right means, to not end his profession, however guarantee it has not less than one other recreation after that.

Participant rankings

Wales: Hennessey 5; Mepham 6, Rodon 5, Davies 6; Roberts 6, Ramsey 5, Ampadu 6, Wilson 5, Williams 6; Moore 6, Bale 5.

Subs: Johnson 6, James 7, Allen 6, Ward 6.

Iran: H Hosseini 7; Rezaeian 6, Pouraliganji7,, M Hosseini 6, Mohammadi 6; Gholizadeh 7, Noorallahi 6, Ezatolahi 7, Hajisafi 6; Azmoun 8, Taremi 7.

Subs: Ansarifard 6, Torabi 6, Jahanbaksh 6, Chesmi 6

Finest and worst performers

BEST: Sardar Azmoun

The Iran ahead was a continuing menace to Wales and his tempo and motion troubled the again three of Joe Rodon, Ben Davies and Chris Mepham all through the sport. So unfortunate to see his second-half shot hit the submit.

WORST: Aaron Ramsey

The Good midfielder is just marginally behind Bale when it comes to his legendary standing with Wales, however whereas Bale at all times exhibits up, Ramsey can too typically reside off his repute and this was a recreation when he simply did not contribute as anticipated and required.

Highlights and notable moments

Wayne Hennessey was despatched off after the referee headed to the video replay display screen, having initially solely given him a yellow card for this problem.

Iran then struck late to seal a well-known win.

After the match: What the gamers and managers stated

To comply with…

Key stats (offered by ESPN Stats & Info)

– The final 5 World Cup video games have been scoreless at half-time. The final first-half aim was by Michy Bayshuayi for Belgium on Wednesday.

– Bale made simply 19 touches within the first hour, the bottom tally for Wales.,

– Hennessey is the primary goalkeeper to be despatched off on the World Cup since South Africa’s Itumeleng Khune in 2010 vs. Uruguay.

– Iran are the primary workforce to win a World Cup match when tied at time of opponent’s ejection since Japan defeated Colombia 2-1 following Carlos Sanchez’s purple card in 2018.

– At 90’+8, Roozbeh Cheshmi’s aim is the most recent regulation recreation winner in World Cup historical past.

Up subsequent

Wales: An enormous recreation in opposition to England on Nov. 29 at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, 10 p.m. native time and a couple of p.m. ET. Something lower than a win for Wales they usually’re out.

Iran: An equally big recreation, given the political scenario between the 2 nations, as they face the US on Nov. 29 at Al Thumama Stadium, 10 p.m. native time and a couple of p.m. ET. It might be a straight knockout for who qualifies.

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