Russia 2018: Bouhaddouz own goal ends Maroc unbeaten run

Russia 2018: Bouhaddouz own goal ends Maroc unbeaten run

Aziz Bouhaddouz came off the bench to score a late own goal, as Morocco’s 18-game unbeaten run came to an unfortunate end, after a 1-0 defeat by Iran.

The second half substitute brilliantly headed in Eshan Haji Safi’s free kick in added time to confine his side to an agonising defeat.

They become the second African side to lose her opening match at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, after Egypt earlier 1-0 loss to Uruguay.

Herve Renard’s men dominated from start to finish but failed to convert their dominance into goals.

The North Africans started the strongest , and in the first 20minutes threatened the Iranian goal via Amine Harit, and Ayoub Kaabi, with Iran surviving a goal mouth scramble in the 19th minute.

However, the Asians weathered the early storm, as they grew into the match, looking dangerous on the counter.

With the half time approaching, Iran had the best chance of the half, and almost opened the scoring, after another wonderful break.

Sardar Azmoun found himself through on goal, coming one-on-one with goalkeeper, Munir Mohamedi, but he was denied by a wonderful save from the Iranian.

The half ended with nothing to separate both sides, as the went into the break goalless.

After the break, Morocco continued from where they stopped, dominating possession but with nothing to show for it.

It remained scoreless, with both sides making use of their substitutions.  With 13minutes left, Bouhaddouz came on for Ayoub Kaabi.

But despite time running out on both teams, they had enough for an altercation, which saw Bouhaddouz and Karim Ansarifard booked in the 90th minute.

With four of six added minutes gone,  Iran were given a free kick in a good area in added time.

Safi’s  delivery was wonderful and he was rewarded as Bouhaddouz headed into his own net to send the Iranian into wild jubilation.

The victory means Iran has now won their second game at the World Cup, with their second clean sheet and sees them atop group B on three points.

Up next for Carlos Queiroz’s men  is another difficult game against 201o winners, Spain, on Wednesday while Morocco tackle Portugal.

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