Wales 0-2 Iran: Stoppage time victory sees Welsh fans in tears

Iran clinched a crucial late 2-0 victory over Wales, marking their first win in the 2022 World Cup group stages. This is a post-match report for the Wales vs Iran match.

A game very much of two halves saw Iran claiming a late win in the eighth and 11th minutes of stoppage time. Goals from Rouzbeh Cheshmi and Ramin Rezaeian sealed the deal, showing that Iran may have been down after their match against England earlier in the week – but they were definitely not out. 

Iran made serious team changes and sang their national anthem

Iran’s Carlos Queiroz made five changes to the team following their 6-2 defeat to England on Monday. Hossein Hosseini came into goal to replace an injured Alireza Beiranvand while Ramin Rezaeian, Ali Gholizadeh, Saeid Ezatolahi, and Sardar Azmoun make the starting XI.

However, Wales didn’t echo this number of team changes. Head coach Rob Page only made one change from the team that faced the USA on Monday. This saw Dan James being benched while Keiffer Moore was started up front. 

Prior to Wales vs Iran kick-off, the latter also sang their national anthem. It comes after the team were silent prior to the England vs Iran match on Monday. The decision to sing was met with boos and tears from the Qatar crowd this morning.

Wales kicked-off the first half

Wales kicked off from the left to start a bright first half. Despite both teams seeing plenty of opportunities, goalkeepers Hosseini and Wayne Hennessey deflected all opening shots.

In the 12th, Hosseini saved Moore’s volley from the six-yard line. However, the former delivered a kick to the latter’s face in the follow-through. 

Following Moore getting back on his feet, Ali Gholizadeh found the net from close range in the 16th minute. However, following a VAR decision, the Iranian goal was ruled out for offside. 

Iran goal ruled off-side put a spark in their bellies

The off-side goal seemed to spark Iran into life. However, despite their attacking game – they were unable to slot the ball home in the first half. This is despite the four extra minutes of added time, too

In the 51st however, it looked as if Iran’s luck was finally changing. Rodon slapped the ball against the right-hand post before it ricocheted off the left-hand post. But Iran was still denied their chance at goal. 

Following Iran’s game of goalpost pinball, Page made a double substitution in the 57th minute. Harry Wilson and Connor Roberts were replaced by Brennan Johnson and James. The swap also saw Wales switching up their formation to 4-2-3-1. 

However, despite the substitutions and Iran’s clumsy passes, Wales was still unable to get behind the ball for very long. 

A dangerous break from Mehdi Taremi in the 64th threatened the stalemate, but it still wasn’t enough. 

It rained substitutions galore for Wales vs Iran

Karim Ansarifard was replaced by Sardar Azmoun in the 68th minute. Ten minutes later, the team brought on the big guns. A surprising triple substitution saw Ali Jahanbakhsh, Mehdi Torabi and Rouzbeh Cheshmi replacing Gholizadeh, Eshan Hajsafi and Ahmad Nourollahi. 

In the same minute, Ethan Ampadu was subbed out for Swansea City’s Joe Allen. However, the midfielder failed to make a positive impact on the game. 

Wayne Hennessey was shown a red after flooring Mehdi Taremi

In the 84th, Hennessey brutally wiped out Taremi 40 yards from goal. After initially being shown a yellow card by the Wales vs Iran referee, Hennessey was eventually shown a red

Wayne Hennessey was given a red card during the Wales vs Iran match, making him the third ever goalkeeper to be sent off during the tournament.
Pictured: Wayne Hennessey. Image credit: Nottinghamshire Live

In fact, he probably could’ve been shown two reds. One for deliberately into Taremi and the other for denying a goalscoring opportunity, but a red is still a red.

Hennessey is the third-ever goalkeeper to be sent off in a World Cup, and the first since the 2010 tournament. That’s not exactly a great history-making moment to have on your head though. 

Following the red card, Aaron Ramsey was called off the field while Danny Ward was positioned in goal.

Iran scored two goals in stoppage time

Nine minutes of extra time were added – just enough to see Iran clinch an extremely late victory. 90+8 saw Cheshmi evading Ward’s reach and curling the ball into the back of Wales’ next. Three minutes later Rezaeian sealed Iran’s deserved victory with a second goal.

Despite the 2-0 loss, Wales aren’t out of the group stages yet. It all depends on what happens in the England vs USA match tonight, as well as the USA vs Iran match next week. So fans of The Dragons, don’t despair!

Winners Iran are also not yet in the clear. They need a strong win against the USA on Tuesday, November 29 to have any chance of entering the Round of 16.

It’s fair to say that this group game was a knockout in disguise. The final score sees Wales 0-2 Iran.

Featured image credit: Getty