Two extra time goals from Iran were enough to break the hearts of the Welsh and, after 64 years away from a World Cup, they will no doubt feel disappointed that they haven’t churned out a performance that they know they are capable of.
Goals from Cheshmi and Rezaeian in the 98th and 101st minute of the game the late flurry will cut deep into the Welsh squad. Iran well deserved to take the three points and should’ve been out of sight well before the 90thminute. Wales will look at themselves in the mirror and come back for a redemption and put a performance down against the English in a few days.
Bale becomes the most capped Welshmen overtaking Chris Gunter now on 110 caps, Kieffer Moore starts in a world cup for the first time only 5 years on from playing non-league football for Truro City. Iran made 5 changes going into this must win game, with the Iran Goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand missing due to the concussion injury picked up against England on Monday. A cagey first half lead to both teams having very little to report on and very few clear chances, Moore had a close range effort from a Roberts cross, Moore who changed the game on Monday is struggling to get any service. and Iran’s only clear cut effort being ruled out for offside. Rodon booked for a very late tackle on the Iranian winger with the last few moments of the half.
Both teams started the second half brightly and were looking at getting the first punches in. Iran hit both posts in the space of 20 seconds, a one on one for Sardar Azmoun smashed off the right-hand post and the second phase of play fell to Gholizadeh who from 25 yards out unleashed a whipped left footed effort off the far post before Taremi headed back into the widespread Hennessey who held on to the ball for dear life to relieve the pressure. 10 minutes into the second half Wales decided to change shape as they had been on the ropes since the interval. Roberts and Harry Wilson swapped for Brenan Johnson and Dan James, who before today the latter had made 35 consecutive starts for the national side. Wales changed to a 4 to sure up the middle of the park where they looked a bit short in the opening moments of the second half. Looking to get the wide men on the ball and to get the team dragged up the pitch because Iran had them penned in for the best part of the second half, The Welsh looked like rabbits in headlights in the second half. Azmoun who was Irans biggest threat was subbed off for Karim Ansarifard which was sigh of relief for many of the Welsh crowd.
Iran could smell blood and were putting Wales to the sword, Hennessey called into action in the 72nd minute getting down low to a Taremi effort before shortly after the Welsh goalkeeper saw red, rushing out claim a through ball the big Welshmen karate chopped the Iranian forward with only one choice for the referee. Danny Ward subbed on and given little chance with either of the 2 late goals. Heartbreak for the Welsh.