– Spain topple Portugal after Group B final games on Tuesday in Russia
– Current world’s best footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo missed from the spot
– Spain’s La Roja’s played out a 2-2 draw with Morocco and play hosts’ Russia on Sunday
Current world’s best footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo missed from the spot during Portugal’s final Group B match against Iran at the ongoing 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia on Monday night.
The encounter which was decided at Mordovia Arena, Saransk saw the European champions bank on Ricardo Quaresma’s 45th minute wonderful strike. The match ended in a 1-1 draw with the hard fighting Asian side.
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Indeed, the individual brilliance from Quaresma, could not save Portugal after Spain’s La Roja’s 2-2 draw with Morocco, means La Roja top Group B and play hosts’ Russia in Moscow on Sunday.
In all honesty it was tough affair all through as both sides did not want to give up the contest with Ronaldo escaping expulsion with a yellow card for unsportsmanlike conduct in the 81st minute, after fouling Iran’s Morteza Pouraliganji with the elbow.
Iran were ;later awarded a penalty of their own in the 93rd minute following intervention from VAR, however, Karim Ansarifard converted from the spot to set up a grandstand finish.
Portugal looked to have won the group entering the final moments, but Iran’s equaliser and a leveller for Spain against Morocco means Portugal will face Uruguay in the round of 16 on June 30.
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Real Madrid’s Ronaldo had the game’s first attempt in the third minute, and he brought a smart save from Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand, before Vahid Amiri fired wide off the post down the other end four minutes later.
The European champions had another opportunity in the ninth minute following a mistake from Beiranvand, but Joao Mario could only lift the ball over the crossbar as chances continued to arrive.
Beiranvand made another mess of a Quaresma’s cross in the 14th minute as Portugal continued to threaten, but Iran managed to clear their lines.
Carlos Queiroz’s side had an opportunity of their own in the 22nd minute when Ehsan Hajsafi was brought to the deck, and the resulting free kick from Ramin Rezaeian was not too far away.
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Saeid Ezatolahi flicked a header into the arms of Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio 10 minutes before the break as Iran threatened once again, before Ronaldo fired into the body of Beiranvand down the other end of the field.
Portugal did take the lead in the final stages of the first half, however, with Quaresma using the outside of his boot to sensationally bend the ball into the top corner of the net.
There was a hugely controversial moment early in the second period when Portugal were awarded a penalty following a VAR review, with Ronaldo going down inside the box under a challenge from Ezatolahi.
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The Real Madrid forward stepped forward looking to score his fifth goal of the 2018 World Cup, but Iran goalkeeper Beiranvand kept out Ronaldo’s spot kick with a smart save.
VAR was again called into action 10 minutes from time, and Ronaldo picked up a yellow card for a collision with Morteza Pouraliganji, but the Iranian players wanted a red.
Iran were incredibly awarded a penalty in stoppage time when VAR asked the referee to have a look at a potential Cedric Soares handball, and Queiroz’s side scores from the spot to finish the encounter on the high.
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