Iran eliminated from World Cup after Portugal draw

Arnold Nichols
June 26, 2018

Fernando Hierro's Spain, the 2010 world champions, will play Russian Federation in the next round in Moscow on Sunday while European champions Portugal face Uruguay in Sochi the previous day.

Being grouped with Morocco, Spain and Portugal in Group B of 2018 World Cup, Iran was facing a lot of pressure for having to go against such tough and expensive teams that were already a good candidate for winning the world cup.

Spain will next meet hosts Russian Federation at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday.

If anything, Spain were guilty of being a little too casual when the match kicked off. Fernando Hierro may have asked his players to take it easy to avoid any bookings (lest they prove to be costly mistakes in the next round) but La Furia Roja were far too relaxed.

Making his World Cup debut at the age of 34, Quaresma played a one-two with Adrien Silva to cut in from the right flank and curled the ball past the outstretched hands of goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand with the outside of his boot.

The result, combined with Spain's 2-2 draw with Morocco and an earlier win for Uruguay over hosts Russian Federation in Group A, means Portugal will play Uruguay in Sochi on June 30, while Group B winners Spain will face Russian Federation in Moscow on July 1.

Ansarifard converted the penalty to make it 1-1, pushing Portugal to second spot in the group behind Spain.

Both teams are guaranteed to advance to the second round, but the victor of this match will determine the first and second spot in the group.

Hierro said he would "work on the mental aspect of things, especially regarding motivation", with his team, which is locked with Portugal at the top of Group B with Iran just one point behind.

Carlos Queiroz's men relied mostly on counter attacks and while forward Sardar Azmoun showed plenty of glimpses of his talent, it was not enough to trouble the Portuguese.

"I'm going to repeat that our initial goal was to be at the top of the group and we've reached that goal. If we play quickly across the pitch the chances will come".

"We have our weapons and we're going to try to win".

At about noon on Monday Portugal players had a quick walk around the hotel, but it is uncertain whether they will walk around the city as they did before other matches in Russian Federation.

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