Ignoring the distractions which have overwhelmed the crew since arriving in Qatar to start their World Cup marketing campaign, Iran recovered to a 2-0 win over Wales on Friday, giving themselves an opportunity to achieve the knockout stage.
2022 FIFA World Cup © FMM Graphics studio Iran had been thrashed 6-2 by England of their Group B opener, however these two targets in opposition to the desk toppers gave them confidence they may compete with European golf equipment once they arrived on the Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium with some extent to show.
The Asian facet haven’t progressed past the group stage in 5 earlier World Cups, however Carlos Queiroz’s gamers will now respect their probabilities after a powerful show as they punished a Wales diminished to 10 males late within the second half.
“In the present day we performed with a tremendous persona, which is our crew’s picture. We performed with a way of unity and cohesion,” mentioned Queiroz, who was thrown into the air by his gamers after the full-time whistle.
“Generally you lose your dignity, your honour, however in fact in our first sport we had been bleeding from our pleasure. This was an opportunity to bounce again… We performed brilliantly and deserved to win.”
Even earlier than the match kicked off, focus was firmly on the gamers singing the nationwide anthem, having shunned doing so of their opening match in obvious help of the protesters again residence.
However as quickly because the referee blew the beginning whistle, they laser-focused on the job at hand and instantly held on, placing inquiries to Wales as either side deployed completely different formations to start out an fascinating tactical battle.
Main strikers Sardar Azmoun and Mehdi Taremi each ply their commerce in Europe, and Queiroz, who picked only one striker in opposition to England, anchored them up entrance to maintain the Welsh protection cohesive and on its toes all through the match.
Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand missed the match after struggling a concussion and a damaged nostril in opposition to England, and his substitute Seyed Hosseini Hosseini was up for the duty in opposition to Wales regardless of scoring six targets within the opener.
A cautious begin noticed Iran fireplace their first warning shot when their aim was dominated out for offside, nevertheless it was sufficient to sow doubt within the Wales camp whereas giving Iran the idea that Rob Web page’s facet had been there for his shot.
Wales scare after a goalless first half, it was solely minutes into the second half when Iran burst into life when Azmoun and Ali Gholizadeh hit the woodwork inside seconds of one another, whereas Saeed Ezzatollah additionally managed to save lots of a strive.
This despatched a scare right into a Welsh facet who had been visibly exhausted by the warmth, and it got here to a head when goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey got here out of his field and knocked out Tarmeme with a excessive knee, for which he was proven a crimson card for his hassle.
The dismissal was the decision Iran wanted to go off with renewed vigor, and with the addition of 9 minutes of harm time, Wales inflicted a lethal one-two to depart the Welsh followers within the stands in tears.
“We had been mentally ready,” high scorer Rozbeh Cesme mentioned. “We had loads of probabilities to attain however in the long run we managed to win and get three factors, and it was due to the solidarity of the gamers and we had been capable of obtain this end result.”
Wales supervisor Robert Web page may solely look on helplessly as his gamers failed to hold out his plans, with Kiefer Moore and Gareth Bale barely seeing the ball whereas the skilled Aaron Ramsey didn’t affect the sport from midfield.
Web page determined to start out Moore after his spectacular second-half efficiency in opposition to the US.
Nevertheless it backfired because the muscular ahead had no impact other than an early shot on aim which was nicely saved by Hosseini from shut vary, Wales’ finest probability of the sport.
“I all the time take accountability, that is my crew,” Web page mentioned.
“The sending off did not assist in fact, however at that time we had 5 strikers on the pitch, so we could not get defensive type.”