Morocco 0 Iran 1: Bouhaddouz own-goal gifts game to Queiroz's men


Morocco are playing in their first World Cup finals since 1998 and have never got past the last-16 phase

Well, that's exactly what happened Friday, the second day of World Cup play.

At St. Petereferee's Krestovsky Stadium, the refree looked at his watch at the 90th minute and chose to give six generous minutes for extra-time.

Only on the field as a 77th-minute substitute, the Morocco striker dived to reach a curling cross from the left but wound up glancing a header past goalkeeper Monir El Kajoui.

Morocco will entertain Iran on Friday at the Krestovsky Stadium on Friday, the meeting is the first-ever meeting between the two sides, here are other facts and details you need to know about the World Cup clash between the Atlas Lions and Iran. Showing just how much it meant, Iran's players threw coach Carlos Queiroz into the air after the final whistle.

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Both teams are making their fifth appearance at a World Cup.

Indeed, Iran had the best chance of the first half when Azmoun was put clean through, with only Morocco keeper Munir Mohamedi to beat.

Iran's preparations have been disrupted by USA sanctions against the country, with American sportswear giant Nike refusing to supply equipment to the team and both Greece and Kosovo cancelling friendly matches against them last month.

Renard said his team "fell into the trap" set by Iran, which sat back and relied on the defensive strength that carried the team through Asian qualifying by conceding only two goals in 10 games.

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The national team of Iran in the last seconds pulled out a victory over Morocco and unhooked Africans from fighting in the playoffs of the world Cup.

It gave Queiroz good reason for positioning his team as outsiders but they now head into the match against Spain on Wednesday both with a winning feeling and hope.

82% of the total shots in this match (18 of 22) came in the first half. However, they have never progressed beyond the group stages, managing only a lone win, against bitter rivals USA in 1998. He led Portugal to the last 16 in 2010 before taking charge of Iran in 2011, but he couldn't lead them past the group stages last time out.

The second half continued in same fashion as the first, although Iran looked more threatening. Morocco also topped their group during the World Cup qualifiers.

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Belhanda was also culpable in front of goal and when Iran's holding midfielder Omid Ebrahimi unceremoniously dumped the Galatasaray playmaker to the turf, a rampaging counter-attack began.

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