Iran strike late to stun Wales at World Cup 2022

Goals from Rouzbeh Cheshmi and Ramin Rezaeian seal famous win against Welsh team who had goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey sent off late in the match

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Iran struck twice in the dying moments of added time to earn a stunning 2-0 win over 10-man Wales in their Group B clash at the World Cup on Friday.

Rouzbeh Cheshmi and Ramin Rezaeian scored to give Iran a famous win, which moved them into second place in the group behind England, who face the USA later in the day.

Wales, who had goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey sent off late in the match, looked to have survived the Iranian onslaught in their Group B encounter at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, before substitute Cheshmi found the net and Rezaeian sealed the win with seconds left.

Iran had come out fighting in the second half and hit the post twice in a matter of seconds, with Sardar Azmoun's shot rebounding to Ali Gholizadeh, whose follow-up cannoned off the upright and back to the waiting Azmoun, who headed tamely into keeper Hennessey's hands.

Iran, whose World Cup squad has been distracted by a political crisis at home, came close again on 72 minutes when Hennessey got a fingertip on Saeid Ezatolahi's shot.

Wales were then reduced to 10 men after Hennessey came charging out of his area and wiped out Mehdi Taremi.

Referee Mario Escobar initially showed a yellow card but was advised to review it by the VAR, and returned from the monitor brandishing a red. There appeared to be cover behind Hennessey but the challenge was reckless and high.

Aaron Ramsey was withdrawn with goalkeeper Danny Ward brought on and he was immediately under pressure as Mehdi Torabi flashed a shot just wide.

Nine minutes of time was added on and in the eighth of them, Iran scored the goal they deserved as a poor Joe Allen clearance fell to Cheshmi, who lashed a shot from outside the box beyond Ward.

They struck a second as Rezaeian raced clear and kept his cool to clip the ball over Ward. Wales now have to beat England on Tuesday to stand any chance of progressing to the last 16.

Updated: November 25, 2022, 12:28 PM
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