Russia 2018: Iran bow out as Spain, Portugal progress

Russia 2018: Iran bow out as Spain, Portugal progress

It’s the final round of group matches at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia as we wait for confirmation of the top two teams to emerge in all eight groups.

With Uruguay and hosts Russia having confirmed their spot in the next round of the tournament following match day two results, the battle for qualification in Group B went down to the wire between Spain, Portugal and Iran.

On the flip side, already eliminated Morocco proved a hard nut to crack for the 2010 World Champions who had to come from a goal down twice to earn a 2-2 draw against the Moroccans who were determined to leave on a high. Thanks to VAR for rightfully awarding the late Iago Aspas goal after he was initially adjudged to be offside.

The game between Portugal and Iran was where most of the Group B drama took place especially as only one point separated both sides and a loss would mean the end of the road for the losing team. Portugal however knew what they had to do. Despite the fact that a draw was enough for Ronaldo and his team mates, they came out to play and got the break through just before half time.

Iran knew they needed a goal to boost their qualification chances and they came out with more attacking threat in the second half but Portugal matched whatever they had to offer. However, with Portugal keeping more of the ball they were able to create more goalscoring chances. One of which came in the form of a penalty after the help of the VAR in the 51st minute, but the young Iranian goalkeeper, Beiranvand saved Ronaldo’s effort from the spot kick.

From then on, Iran grew more confident and soon earned a penalty in the 90+2′ – this again was awarded after VAR review as Iran scored to draw level. Iran then almost went ahead immediately as Portugal survived a scare to progress to the round of 16.

Spain top Group B and will face hosts, Russia; while Portugal will face Uruguay after the South Americans finished top of Group A.

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