World Cup 2022: Wales 0-2 Iran – late Iranian double leaves 10-man Wales at risk of exit

Wales’ first World Cup for 64 years seems set to finish on the first hurdle after a heartbreaking – however deserved – last-ditch defeat by Iran in Qatar.

Substitute Rouzbeh Cheshmi struck from 20 yards 9 minutes into stoppage time, earlier than Ramin Rezaeian completed off a counter-attack to seal victory for a revitalised Iran facet, who’ve renewed hope of reaching the knockout phases for the primary time of their historical past.

These have been decisive blows to Welsh prospects of victory, which had all however vanished when goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey was despatched off with 4 minutes of regular time remaining, following a video assistant referee examine, for a reckless problem on Medhi Taremi.

As they did of their opening draw with the USA, Wales began poorly and had the video assistant referee (VAR) to thank for disallowing a objective from Iran’s Ali Gholizadeh for offside.

In one of the extremely charged atmospheres of this World Cup, Iran’s gamers sang their nationwide anthem this time – having declined to take action earlier than their opening loss to England in an obvious present of help for anti-government protests of their nation – however their very own followers booed the anthem and a few might be seen crying within the stands.

Roared on by the fervent and virtually solely Iranian crowd, Carlos Queiroz’s facet have been extraordinarily unfortunate to not rating early within the second half as Sardar Azmoun and Gholizadeh each struck the submit throughout the area of some seconds.

Wales have been totally ragged and, as they pushed ahead in quest of the late profitable objective they desperately wanted, a protracted ball excessive left the defence uncovered and the onrushing Hennessey introduced down Taremi.

Hennessey was initially proven a yellow card, but it surely was modified to a purple after the referee was suggested to examine on the pitchside monitor, with the 35-year-old changing into solely the third keeper to be despatched off at a World Cup.

That set the seal on Wales’ destiny for this match and, in all chance, their hopes of reaching the second spherical.

Whereas Robert Web page’s males have been simply as disjointed as they have been in opposition to the USA, Iran have been unrecognisable from the staff thrashed 6-2 by England of their first match and totally deserved this win.

Wales now face the formidable problem of needing to win their remaining group match on Tuesday in opposition to England, who tackle the USA in a while Friday.

It isn’t not possible however, based mostly on how the Group B groups have fared thus far in Qatar, Wales’ first World Cup for 64 years seems like it’s in critical hazard of ending on the earliest stage.

Wales rue one other sloppy efficiency

Having been absent from World Cups since 1958, Wales marked their emotional and long-awaited return to soccer’s grandest stage with a 1-1 draw in opposition to the USA on the similar stadium on Monday.

They appeared overawed by the magnitude of that event throughout a primary half during which they have been overrun and outplayed by the USA, however have been a lot improved after the half-time introduction of Kieffer Moore.

The Bournemouth striker began this time and, whereas his presence gave Wales an added dimension in assault, they have been nonetheless as worryingly porous in midfield as they’d been in opposition to the States.

Iran sensed that weak point and pressed their opponents excessive up the pitch, prompting panic amongst Welsh midfielders and defenders, notably on the break.

Regardless of their vulnerability by the center, the place Web page had caught with the identical choice, Wales appeared extra harmful after they performed with width, and it was Moore who stood to learn.

Connor Roberts discovered the 6ft 5in ahead with a nice cross from the precise within the thirteenth minute and, though Moore stretched to attach with a volley, it was straight at goalkeeper Hossein Hosseini.

Roberts’ subsequent involvement three minutes later was much less distinguished as his cross-field go was minimize out close to his personal penalty space and allowed Sardar Azmoun to tee up Gholizadeh to complete into an empty web. There was no flag at first however, after a swift VAR examine, the objective was disallowed for offside.

Azmoun himself headed the subsequent probability over as Wales struggled to come up with the sport. Thankfully for them, as energetic and well-drilled as Iran have been, they didn’t create a lot in the way in which of real scoring alternatives.

Wales gradual to make modifications

Regardless of the clear points his facet confronted within the first half, Web page made no modifications at half-time.

Simply as his lack of ability to heed the teachings from the USA recreation invited Iranian stress within the first half, Web page’s inaction on this event compelled Wales on to the again foot through the second half.

They have been extraordinarily lucky to not fall behind 5 minutes after the restart as Iran hit the submit twice within the area of some seconds.

First Azmoun struck a right-footed effort which cannoned off the woodwork and fell to Gholizadeh, whose curling left-footed shot hit the opposite submit. Azmoun was the primary to react however his rebound was smothered by Hennessey.

Wales have been a multitude at this level, their defence harassed and given subsequent to no safety from the gamers in entrance of them.

These struggles made it not possible to assault with any cohesion, rendering Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey virtually out of date.

It was a dispiriting sight for Wales followers to observe these two greats – heroes of the previous two European Championships – lowered to peripheral figures on this event.

Wales nonetheless threw themselves ahead within the imprecise hope of forcing a late winner however that desperation was their undoing when Hennessey grew to become simply the third goalkeeper to be despatched off at a World Cup, for a excessive boot on Taremi.

The day belonged to Iran, who left it late to safe the victory they genuinely-earned.

Wales gamers sink to the turf after Iran’s opening objective

Given an excessive amount of time by Wales’ tiring our bodies, Cheshmi unleasehd an outstanding strike from 20 yards which whistled into the underside nook to immediate wild celebrations.

Then with Wales much more uncovered, it was left to Rezaeian to use a fragile crowning glory as Iran surged to victory, realizing one other in opposition to the USA will safe their passage to the second spherical for the primary time of their historical past.

Participant of the match

CheshmiRoozbeh Cheshmi

Line-ups

Wales

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1HennesseyBooked at 86mins
  • 5Mepham
  • 6RodonBooked at 45mins
  • 4Davies
  • 14RobertsSubstituted forJohnsonat 57′minutes
  • 10RamseySubstituted forWardat 87′minutes
  • 15AmpaduSubstituted forAllenat 77′minutes
  • 8WilsonSubstituted forJamesat 58′minutes
  • 3N Williams
  • 11Bale
  • 13Moore

Substitutes

  • 2Gunter
  • 7Allen
  • 9Johnson
  • 12Ward
  • 16Morrell
  • 17Lockyer
  • 18Williams
  • 19M Harris
  • 20James
  • 21Davies
  • 22Thomas
  • 23Levitt
  • 24Cabango
  • 25Colwill
  • 26Smith

Iran

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 24Hosseini
  • 23RezaeianBooked at 90mins
  • 19Hosseini
  • 8Pouraliganji
  • 5Mohammadi
  • 17GholizadehSubstituted forJahanbakhshat 77′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 6EzatolahiSubstituted forKarimiat 83′minutes
  • 21NoorollahiSubstituted forCheshmiat 78′minutes
  • 3HajisafiSubstituted forTorabiat 77′minutes
  • 9Taremi
  • 20AzmounSubstituted forAnsarifardat 68′minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Moharrami
  • 4Khalilzadeh
  • 7Jahanbakhsh
  • 10Ansarifard
  • 11Amiri
  • 12Niazmand
  • 13Kanani
  • 14Ghoddos
  • 15Cheshmi
  • 16Torabi
  • 18Karimi
  • 22Abedzadeh
  • 25Jalali

Referee:
Mario Escobar

Attendance:
40,875

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