Iran beat 10-man Wales to keep hopes of World Cup qualification alive


Two late goals secured Iran a sensational 2-0 win against Wales to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the World Cup knockout stage.

Rouzbeh Cheshmi struck from distance to brilliantly give Iran the lead in the 98th minute, while Ramin Rezaeian sealed victory in the 101st minute to secure Iran’s first points of the tournament.

Both goals came after Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey had been sent off in the second half for a rash challenge outside his area, becoming the first player in this tournament to receive a red card.

Iran created the better chances and were deserving winners in a game filled with excitement as both teams needed wins to boost their chances of progressing from Group B.

Iran players line up for the national anthem ahead of the match against Wales.

Iran’s players joined in singing the national anthem before the match, while at the same time boos could be heard inside the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium in Qatar.

During the playing of the national anthems before Iran’s opening match against England on Monday, the Iranian players stood silent in what was widely seen as a show of solidarity with those protesting at home.

Iran is appearing at this World Cup in the shadow of domestic unrest, with this game taking place a day after UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk said the country is in a “full-fledged human rights crisis” as authorities crack down on anti-regime dissidents.

Protests, described by experts as the most significant since the establishment of clerical rule following the Iranian revolution in 1979, and violence have rocked Iran in recent months, threatening the very nature of the country’s regime, which has been in power for more than 40 years .

It was sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who died after being detained by Iran’s morality police, allegedly for not complying with the country’s conservative dress code. Iranian security forces have sparked a violent response.

Hennessey receives the red card - the first in Qatar 2022.

After the heavy 6-2 defeat to England, Iran played much better in their second game.

The score was goalless at half-time after a nervous opening 45 minutes on a sweltering day in Al Rayyan. Wales forward Kieffer Moore had the best chance of the half when he somehow headed wide when free on goal.

Although Ali Gholizadeh thought he had put Iran ahead, the video assistant referee (VAR) ruled the goal out for offside.

Iran star Sardar Azmoun twice hit the post early in the second half as Iran set the pace and Wales rode their luck and it looked like both teams would share a point each before Cheshmi opened the scoring – sending Iranian fans into party and subdued Welsh contingent.

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