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Rediff.com  » Sports » PHOTOS: Iran stun Morocco with stoppage-time own goal

PHOTOS: Iran stun Morocco with stoppage-time own goal

Last updated on: June 16, 2018 00:15 IST

Morocco

IMAGE: Aziz Bouhaddouz of Morocco scores an own goal against Iran. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

A stoppage-time own goal from substitute Aziz Bouhaddouz gave Iran a dramatic 1-0 win over Morocco in their World Cup Group B opener on Friday.

 

Iran left back Ehsan Hajsafi whipped in a free kick five minutes into added time and Bouhaddouz launched himself at the ball, flashing a header past his own keeper Munir Mohamedi.

The Iranians, who had not won a World Cup game since their victory over the United States in 1998, celebrated as if they had won the tournament but they now have a chance in a group where they must now face favourites Spain and Portugal.

Morocco, who enjoyed more possession throughout, began in aggressive fashion, taking the game to their opponents and overloading their right flank as they targeted Hajsafi.

That approach almost paid off when Nordin Amrabat whipped in a dangerous cross from the right but Younes Belhanda’s header from an acute angle flashed wide.

Morocco

IMAGE: Iran's Karim Ansarifard in action with Morocco's Nordin Amrabat. Photograph: Henry Romero/Reuters

A stoppage-time own goal from substitute Aziz Bouhaddouz gave Iran a dramatic 1-0 win over Morocco in their World Cup Group B opener on Friday.

 

Iran were missing the calming influence of suspended holding midfielder Saeid Ezatolahi as Morocco over-ran them in the centre of the park with the clever Mbark Boussoufa directing play as the African side frequently attacked in numbers.

Morocco almost turned that initial pressure into a goal in the 19th minute when following a scramble in the area, Medhi Benatia’s shot was well saved by Iran keeper Alireza Beiranvand.

Iran’s Portuguese coach Carlos Quieroz had clearly given his side instructions to defend deep and look to break on the counter-attack and two minutes before the break that approach almost bore fruit.

Morocco

IMAGE: Sardar Azmoun, Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Ramin Rezaeian of Iran celebrate victory. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Striker Sardar Azmoun broke clear though the middle but he shot straight at Mohamedi who got up quickly to keep out a follow-up effort from Alireza Jahanbakhsh.

Chances were at a premium after the break but a well-struck effort from Morocco's Hakim Ziyech brought out a fine save from Beiranvand nine minutes from the end.

Portugal and Spain meet later on Friday.

Football World Cup

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