Wales’ hopes of a KO’s place at the 2022 World Cup suffer a major blow as Iran score two late goals to beat the 10-man Dragons 2-0 in Group B.
Wales‘ World Cup 2022 fate is no longer in their own hands Iran scored two late goals to secure a dramatic 2-0 win over the 10-man Dragons in Group B at Ahman bin Ali Stadium.
Carlos Queirozside saw Rouzbeh Cheshmi break the blockade in the eighth minute of the second half of stoppage time Ramin Rezaeian finished the game with 101 minutes on the clock as Wales – who had Wayne Hennessy sent off – saw their hopes of a top two finish take a major hit.
Rob page made a move and brought in from the side that drew 1-1 with the USA on Matchday 1 Kieffer Moore to the DanielJamesand the Bournemouth man had an excellent chance to open the scoring in the 12th minute.
Moore unlatched at a cross Connor Roberts but could only send in a toe poke Hossein Hosseiniup close at hand and received a kick in the face for his troubles, but he sustained no serious harm.
From an almost assist to a nearly wasted goal, Roberts then saw a long pass intercepted by him Ali Gholizadehwhich combined well with Sardar Azmun before knocking home in the 15th minute but the goal was ruled out for offside.
Wales were grateful for that respite but they still lived dangerously, struggling to retain possession and watching Azmoun narrowly miss a header from a free kick in the 23rd minute.
Just before the break Ahmad Nourollahis long-range half-volley bounced awkwardly in front of Hennessey but the Wales number one made a good save as the game remained scoreless after the first 45 minutes.
Within just seven minutes of the second half one of the most spectacular attack sequences in the World Championship Happened so far as Azmoun and Gholizadeh both hit the woodwork within seconds before the former headed Gholizadeh’s rebound into the grateful gloves of Hennessey, who was still sprawled on the ground.
Speaking of players sprawled on the ground, Azmoun – who had just returned from a calf tear for the World Cup – went onto the turf more than once before somehow managing to continue each time, but his race was ended in the 68th minute like Karim Ansarifard replaced him.
The Dragons backline did well to quell a sustained streak of Iranian attacks in the second half, but in the 73rd minute they were thankful that Hennessey saved with a brilliant fingertip to the right to turn Said Esatolahi‘s shot on goal behind.
Hosseini was then used to overturn a Ben Davis He went over the bar in the 83rd minute but Wales received a killer blow shortly after when Hennessey came out to challenge Taremi with a long ball and crashed into the Porto man with a leg up.
The Nottingham Forest keeper was initially cautioned for Iran furor but refereeed Mario Escobar increased his penalty after a quick look at the monitor in the 86th minute to the red card, da Danny Ward took on the responsibility of holding Iran in check for the final moments.
Mehdi Torabi He then sent a 20-yard shot just wide of the top corner in the 88th minute as Wales held on desperately, but they would be forced to try that for another nine minutes.
After lasting 98 minutes, however, Wales’ resistance was broken when Cheshmi hit a great long-range shot that sailed into the bottom corner.
Salt was rubbed into Page’s side just two minutes later as Wales’s body threw himself forward and was exposed on the counterattack, allowing Rezaeian to clip the ball over the onrushing Ward into back netting.
Iran, set to take on the USA on Tuesday, are now level on points with England before the Three Lions meet the Stars and Stripes tonight, while Wales slip to bottom of the group and have England all to do in their last group game next week.
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