Although it didn’t seem likely for Iran to win this, many voices were silenced for just a few minutes as Iran looked to do the impossible. They came close, very close, but unfortunately, Quaresma’s goal was the difference and what Portugal needed to go through to the knockout stages.
Although low on possession, Iran was making do quite well in creating chances and as predicted, their defense would strike fear into Portugal’s attack. So much fear that even Ronaldo has been scarred after being denied a goal from the penalty spot in the second half. The second half all-together didn’t go so well for Ronaldo as he could’ve been sent off after an impulsive tackle, but after a VAR review, the referee decided to just give a yellow.
VAR itself made quite an appearance, thrice in this match, all three in the second half. The first awarded Ronaldo a penalty which Iranian goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand saved, diving to his left. Then, the referee referred to VAR once more to penalize Ronaldo with the yellow, and finally, in stoppage time, Iran was awarded a penalty after a handball in the box.
Despite Karim Ansarifard putting away the penalty in the top right corner, Iran required a win as Spain and Morocco drew 2-2, and unfortunately, time was against Iran in this scenario. Despite fearing being knocked out, Portugal won the draw and Iran’s World Cup was well, over.
Portugal top Group B and Spain come in second. Portugal will play Uruguay in the second Round of 16 match on Saturday at 2 PM Eastern while Spain plays hosts, Russia on Sunday, at 10 AM Eastern.