World Cup 2022: Iran ecstatic after incredibly dramatic win over Wales

Al Rayyan, Qatar - Iran scored twice deep into stoppage time to come away with an incredibly emotional 2-0 victory over 10-man Wales and stay in the running for the World Cup knockout stages.

Welsh defender Ben Davies in shock as Iran's players celebrate their famous victory.
Welsh defender Ben Davies in shock as Iran's players celebrate their famous victory.  © REUTERS

Roozbeh Cheshmi sent his team and fans into a frenzy eight minutes into added time and Ramin Rezaeian another three minutes on sealed the fate of Wales, who had goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey sent off in the 88th after he had wiped out Mehdi Teremi.

Iran was the better team and unlucky when Sardar Azmoun and Ali Gholizadeh hit the right and left post within a few seconds shortly after halftime, while Wales' best opportunity came early from Kieffer Moore and late from Ben Davies.

Hennessey was the first player to be dismissed in Qatar and Bale, who was playing in a record 110th game for his country, was no real factor this time around after salvaging a 1-1 draw against the USMNT with a penalty on Monday.

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Iran, with five new players, showed a completely different face than in the opening 6-2 mauling by England. It can reach the last 16 for the first time in six attempts, while Wales face elimination.

England can clinch their last 16 spot later Friday with victory against the United States.

The group concludes Tuesday with an emotional British duel between England and Wales and a politically charged meeting between Iran and the USMNT, who will be looking for payback after losing their only other World Cup duel 2-1 in 1998.

Iran players and fans let emotions flow

Iran's entire bench spills onto to the field in ecstasy after Roozbeh Cheshmi puts Iran into the lead in the 98th minute.
Iran's entire bench spills onto to the field in ecstasy after Roozbeh Cheshmi puts Iran into the lead in the 98th minute.  © REUTERS

"A wonderful day for us," Iran coach Carlos Queiroz told the BBC. "This is just the beginning, but we need to finish the job. All respect to my players, today showed they love to play football."

Iran players sang the national anthem this time after remaining silent against England in an apparent protest against their regime and in connection with wide-ranging demonstrations at home, where over 400 people have been killed in the crackdown by authorities. A large number of fans booed all the way through, with many breaking down in tears.

That made the explosion of emotion after both goals that much more intense, with Iran's entire bench spilling onto to the field in ecstasy and the traveling support coming together to celebrate a historic result.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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