Iran hopes for respect after stopping Ronaldo at World Cup

Kristopher Nichols
June 26, 2018

Morocco, already eliminated, struck again in the 81st minute when substitute Youssef En-Nesyri crashed in a header which looked set to inflict a first defeat on Spain since Euro 2016. Pointless Morocco are already out.

"We can't afford to relax".

"I don't think we can start second guessing or speculating about what Morocco are going to do", said Hierro.

A new record was set on Tuesday [NZ time], when referee Enrique Caceres gave one to Portugal, then one to Iran during their 1-1 draw at Mordovia Arena in Russian Federation, the 19th and 20th penalties of the tournament.

Denmark need just a draw against France on Tuesday to advance to the last 16, but even a defeat will be good enough if Australia fail to beat Peru.

A point for Spain against Morocco would see them qualify.

Iranian goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand's save to deny Ronaldo was the fifth instance of a player failing to convert a penalty in Russian Federation, already the joint second highest in World Cup history.

What can happen? Belgium play England on Thursday night with the victor taking the top spot.

In Group A, Russian Federation will bid for a third straight win after a stunning start to the tournament for a side initially written off as no-hopers.

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Mexico have failed to get beyond the last 16 since 1986, when they reached the quarter-finals as tournament hosts. After the game, Durmaz faced a barrage of abuse on social media, including racist insults and death threats.

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Uruguay will take on Russian Federation in Group A at Samara Arena at 5 p.m. local time (1400GMT).

Who will play who in the last 16?

"We're not doing the calculations, we've never done them", said Cherchesov. "We know both teams, the football gods will decide".

Japan and Senegal will advance with draws against Poland and Colombia respectively. He scored a penalty in the 3-1 defeat to Russian Federation.

"In my opinion they are the best Asian team", Santos said. "I hope we will be galvanized by what has been inflicted on us".

"I wasn't concerned", he added. "Everybody is working harder, everybody's working at a high level, everybody has great scouts". Morocco had nothing to play for, except for the chance to spoil Spain's World Cup campaign, that is. A draw in the final group game would see the leaders decided by fair play rules or by drawing of lots.

Both games kickoff at 16:00. Over in Group A, Russian Federation and Uruguay are through, but top spot is up for grabs as they go head to head.

There's also a weird edge in this group, whereas if South Korea beat Germany 1-0, and Mexico beat Sweden 1-0, the rules state that Sweden and Germany will only be separated by their disciplinary records - not by the fact that Germany beat Sweden. Egypt had their entry into the record books too, as goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary became the oldest World Cup player ever, at 45 years and 161 days.

In Brazil four years ago, there were only 13 penalties in the entire tournament.

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