Iran beat Morocco with 95th-minute own goal

Black Stars of Ghana celebrating a World Cup goal at South Africa 2010

Black Stars of Ghana celebrating a World Cup goal at South Africa 2010

Friday featured three thrilling matches at the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russian Federation, the second of which took place between Iran and Morocco.

Morocco will next face Portugal on Wednesday, while Iran will be up against former world champions Spain. "I can tell you, as a footballer, we don't compare diplomatic and political problems to sports". Nobody is superman. What can happen is a group of people when we work together, we can create super things.

There was an explosion of joy among the Iran squad as coaches and substitutes leapt out of the dugout and sprinted onto the field to celebrate with the players. With little or no time for recovery, it was the Iranians who celebrated at the blast of the final whistle despite giving Moroccan goalkeeper Munir nothing to think about throughout the duration of the match. Using the width strongly, Morocco moved forward with Ayoub El Kaabi, Amine Harit and Hakim Ziyach combining well.

Morocco and Iran played another game where both teams were defensively compact and hard to break despite that the game was pretty entertaining. Nobody knew the outcome until the last minute. Spotted in 2012, this veteran can definitely stop the smooth run of Iranian Messi. Nike had blocked the players' supply of boots and friendlies against Greece and Kosovo were cancelled.

Renard said Morocco's coaching staff had taken a keen interest in Iran and would be prepared for any surprises the Portuguese might have up his sleeve.

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The 36-year-old will need to defend his title at Halle to maintain his No. 1 spot ahead of Wimbledon. I will have a quiet week before Wimbledon with not many things going on, which is great.

"I say it to you in all honesty because it is something that I have lived, and I know it. Pfff... what we win with a nation, what we do by representing it, it's priceless".

And, ahead of the opener, the Frenchman sent a defiant message to those who consider the north African team - making their first World Cup finals appearance since 1998 - amongst the also-rans.

The only shame was the large number of empty seats, with many supporters still queueing to get through security 15 minutes before kick-off.

For now, Iran remain the rank outsiders in the group but Queiroz is happy to play the role of underdogs.

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