Iran Delivers Sucker Punch to Wales

Soccer Football - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Group B - Wales v Iran - Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan, Qatar - November 25, 2022 Iran players celebrate after the match REUTERS/Hannah Mckay

AL RAYYAN, Qatar – Iran scored twice after the eighth minute of stoppage time to snatch a stunning 2-0 win over Wales on Friday that breathed new life into their World Cup campaign and left the Welsh flat on their backs and facing a make-or-break decider against England.

After Wales keeper Wayne Hennessey was sent off in the 87th minute, Iran produced a remarkable finale, with Roozbeh Cheshmi driving home to give them the lead before Ramin Rezaeian added another in the 11th minute of stoppage time.

Iran, who had been facing elimination if they lost, were almost unrecognisable from the side that was thrashed 6-2 by England in their opener, and they were deserved winners even if they left it very late.

Carlos Queiroz’s side were twice denied by the woodwork in the second half at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium and made the most of the extra man after Hennessey was given his marching orders following a dreadful head-high challenge on Mehdi Taremi.

The win moves Iran to three points in Group B, two more than Wales, who were held to a 1-1 draw by the United States in their opener, with England and the U.S. facing each other later on Friday.

The group comes to a head next Tuesday, when Wales play their old rivals and Iran face the U.S.

England will be through to the next round with a win over the US, while Iran’s heroics have left them with all to play for.

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