AL RAYYAN, Qatar — For 85 minutes Friday, Iran totally outplayed Wales with completely nothing to indicate for it. They had been sharper. They had been extra harmful. They despatched 4 pictures on course — not together with the 2 posts they hit within the second half — and 19 general, but they could not handle to get the objective they so deserved.
Then a second of insanity by Welsh keeper Wayne Hennessey modified all the pieces:
Wales keeper Wayne Hennessey crimson carded
Wales’ Wayne Hennessey receives a crimson card after a nasty out-of-the-box collision with Iran’s Mehdi Taremi within the 86nd minute.
Iran was enjoying for satisfaction as a lot as anything after its humiliating 6-2 loss to Group B favourite England to open the match. For a rustic that has by no means reached the knockout stage in 5 earlier World Cup appearances, Iran appeared destined to go house early once more.
But within the 86th minute of a scoreless match, Hennessey raced method out of his field to attempt to thwart a counterattack led by Team Melli’s Mehdi Taremi. Hennessey bought there late and crashed into Taremi as a substitute. Guatemalan referee Mario Escobar flashed a yellow card; with a Wales defender monitoring again, in actual time the skilled foul did not seem to warrant something greater than a warning.
That’s had been the video assistant referee got here in.
Replays confirmed Hennessey flying leg had recklessly caught Taremi within the face. His knee slammed towards the ahead’s jaw. VAR requested Escobar to take a re-evaluation; with the advantage of slow-motion, there was little question that it was a reckless, violent play by the Nottingham Forest backstop.
It was clear Wales could be diminished to 10 males even earlier than Escobar signaled the cancellation of the warning and brandished the crimson card as a substitute.
With 9 minutes of stoppage time awarded partially due to the delay, Iran had time to seal all three factors. Wave after wave of assault got here to nothing, although as Wales held on for pricey life. The Welsh even had a few half-chances to win it themselves as Iran threw nearly each participant on the sector ahead in determined search of the winner.
With the clock ticking steadily towards the 99th minute, it regarded as if it might finish 0-0. But with about 90 seconds remaining, substitute Roozbeh Cheshmi took an extended shot from exterior the field beat Wales backup and settled contained in the far put up.
It was a minimum of Iran deserved.
Wales vs. Iran highlights
In the late levels of the sport, Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey acquired a crimson card after colliding with a participant. Iran capitalized with targets by Roozbeh Cheshmi and Ramin Rezaeian in stoppage time.
A second objective by proper again Ramin Rezaeian earlier than the ultimate whistle added the exclamation level, giving Team Melli simply its third victory in 16 all-time World Cup video games.
The dramatic win briefly lifted Iran, whose gamers and coaches have understandably been distracted by the anti-government protests and the autocratic regime’s violent crackdown towards them roiling their nation again house.
But this was a win for the gamers, a few of whom have been brazenly important of the nation’s management at nice private threat to themselves, in addition to for the Iranian diaspora all over the world.
With three factors, Iran now sits second behind England on objective distinction atop the group, at the least briefly.
The Three Lions will face the United States later Friday in one of many marquee video games of the primary spherical. Iran, which famously beat the U.S. in 1998 within the political rivals’ solely earlier assembly on the worldwide stage, faces the Americans on Tuesday to shut out Group B play.
Breaking down United States’ probabilities
The “FIFA World Cup Now” crew takes a take a look at the Group B standings following Iran’s victory over Wales. The United States controls its personal future with a win or tie towards England.
Another win could be sufficient for Iran to advance and make historical past, regardless of the results of the England-Wales match that kicks off on the similar time.
That’s a narrative for one more day, although.
Until at the least tomorrow Iran coach Carlos Queiroz and his gamers will little question be targeted on having fun with Friday’s triumph – one that may not have occurred with out Hennessey’s match altering sending-off.
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