As it happened: World Cup: Morocco v Iran (Group B)

MOROCCO 0 (0)

IRAN 1 (0) Bouhaddouz (O.G) 90+5′

FULL TIME 90’+6 – Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg – 15th June

Morocco World Cup Preview

STARTING LINEUPS:

Morocco: Mohamedi, Hakimi, Benatia, Saiss, Boussoufa, Ziyech, El Ahmadi, Harit, Nordin Amrabat (Sofyan Amrabat 76′), El Kaabi (Bouhaddouz 77′) , Belhanda.

Subs: Bounou, Mendyl, da Costa, Fajr, Boutaib, Ait Bennasser, Dirar, En-Nesyri, Bouhaddouz, Sofyan Amrabat, Carcela-Gonzalez, Tagnaouti.

Iran: Beiranvand, Rezaeian, Cheshmi, Pouraliganji, Ansarifard, Ebrahimi (Montazeri 79′), Hajsafi, Shojaei, Jahanbakhsh, Azmoun, Amiri.

Subs: Mazaheri, Torabi, Mohammadi, Khanzadeh, Ghoddos, Montazeri, Ghoochannejhad, Taremi, Hosseini, Dejagah, Abedzadeh.

 

MATCH UPDATES

1 Minute: Morocco get us underway.

2 Minutes: Harit swings at the ball from range, but he flings the shot wide.

3 Minutes: Ziyech is in space from a corner, but he takes a swing and a miss. However, ti is another corner for the Atlas Lions.

4 Minutes: Morocco in charge here – Belhanda heads an awkward cross narrowly over the post.

9 Minutes: El Kaabi can’t get a clean connection with his shot, again sending the ball wide. Iran on the backfoot.

10 Minutes: Shojaei picks up the first booking of the game for a cynical tackle on the half-way mark.

14 Minutes: The Atlas Lions are throwing some testing runs forwards but are yet to really test the Iranian keeper.

19 Minutes: How are Morocco not in front? A scramble in the box sees limbs flying but no goal – out for another corner.

20 Minutes: Iran finally get themselves forward, but the counter peters out with a poor cross into the box. Game opening up now.

25 Minutes: Iran now enjoying a healthy spell going forward; but both defences are adept at dealing with attacks. Remains 0-0.

26 Minutes: Bodies behind the ball for Iran sees them chucking themselves at any shots made – and it is working. Morocco have two half-chances blocked.

30 Minutes: Harit drifts inside the box, opening his body up to try and curl a shot past the keeper – only to send it into Beiranvand’s hands.

34 Minutes: El Ahmadi picks up Morocco’s first booking at the World Cup for cynically ending an Iranian counter attack.

39 Minutes: A driven cross from Ziyech is inches away from El Kaabi’s forehead – any contact surely would have sent it into the back of net.

43 Minutes: WHAT A DOUBLE SAVE! Monir denies Azmoun one-on-one, before springing back up and getting a much-needed hand to the second shot.

45+2 Minutes: HALF-TIME –  both sides threatening, but we’re still yet to see a goal. 0-0 at the break.

SECOND HALF:

46 Minutes: Iran get us back underway.

49 Minutes: Another chance for Morocco – Harit hacks wildly at the ball, sending it way wayward.

63 Minutes: Rather a drab second half so far – attacks are drying up quickly for both teams.

76 Minutes: It appears Amrabat will take no further part – a heavy knock means he is concussed. His brother will take his place.

77 Minutes: El Kaabi is replaced by Bouhaddouz.

80 Minutes: Finally, a proper chance! Ziyech tries his luck, but draws a fantastic save from Beiranvand. Ten to go.

90 Minutes: 6 minutes of added time. Morocco have a little bit longer to find a winner, but it looks like this is going to be a nil-nil draw.

90+5 Minutes: Another late heartbreak for an African team! Yet again, a free-kick from outwide is turned in by Moroccan substitute Bouhaddouz, whose defensive header has beaten his own goalkeeper.

90+6 Minutes: And that is it! We’re yet to see an African team score a goal, let alone win a game. Morocco will feel hard done by, but they simply didn’t finish their chances. It will be a tall ask for them to pick up enough points against Spain and Portugal, so it is likely they’ll be back home after the group stage.

AS IT STANDS

Pos Team

Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Iran 1 1 0 0 1 0 1+ 3 Advance to knockout stage
2  Portugal 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3  Spain 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4  Morocco 0 0 0 1 0 1 -1 0
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