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Iran blow Wales away with two injury-time goals to cause stunning World Cup upset after Wayne Hennessy red card

Ryan Sidle

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Iran blow Wales away with two injury-time goals to cause stunning World Cup upset after Wayne Hennessy red card

Wales chances of getting through to the World Cup knockout stages now rely on them beating England after their shock 2-0 defeat to Iran on Friday.

Goals from Rouzbeh Cheshmi and Ramin Rezaeian in injury time gave Carlos Queiroz's side a well-deserved victory, following Wayne Hennessy's sending off in the 86th minute.

Robert Page's team knew that they needed a positive result against Iran after a 1-1 draw in their opening game of the tournament against the USA - a point rescued thanks to Gareth Bale's late penalty.

Iran, on the other hand, were well beaten by England in their World Cup opener, with the Three Lions sticking six goals past a side who usually pride themselves on a solid defence.

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On Friday, however, it was the Middle East country who looked the more threatening throughout, with Wales' midfield failing to get a hold of the game.

There wasn't much for Bale and fellow striker Kieffer Moore, whose introduction against the USMNT had changed the game, to get on the end of against Iran.

Instead it was Iran who looked to have the best of the chances, although they were unable to convert for most of the match.

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The game appeared to swing at one moment in the second half as Iran striker Mehdi Taremi looked to get on the end of a long ball.

Wales No 1 Hennessy came running out but Taremi got their first and knocked it past the Nottingham Forest 'keeper, whose knee made contact with the forward.

He was initially shown a yellow card but the referee was sent over to the screen by the VAR official, and it was soon upgraded to a red.

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Mehdi Torabi had two efforts after the red card, as a whole host of injury time loomed large for the Dragons to face with just 10 men.

Joe Allen blocked Torabi's second attempt and then Moore had his own chance at the other end, but Iran kept trying to break at pace.

Another Allen clearance this time just landed to Cheshmi, who unleashed an almighty shot from the edge of the area which flew past substitute 'keeper Danny Ward.

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Wales knew they had to push on for an equaliser, needing a point to keep their hopes of qualifying still in their own hands.

On the break, however, Iran scored yet again, with Taremi bringing it forward before being met by support from right-back Rezaeian.

The full-back ran into the box before lifting the ball over a sliding defender and the on-rushing Ward, which secured all three points for his country.

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In order to make it out of the group, Wales now need neighbours England to beat the USA and for the US and Iran to then share a draw on Tuesday, with the Dragons still needing to beat the Three Lions at the same time.

Speaking after the humiliating defeat to Iran, Bale said: "It's gutting. We are gutted, there's no other way to say it.

"We fought until the last second but it's one of those things. We have to go again.

"We have to pick ourselves up and go again. We have one more game, it’s going to be difficult for sure. We will see.

"I haven’t seen the red card but it changes the game completely. We let the first one in and the second one doesn’t matter. What can I say, we have to recover and go again."

Featured Image Credit: Twitter

Topics: Football, Football World Cup, Wales

Ryan Sidle
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