Heartbreak for Morocco as Iran steal win with 95th minute own goal

Heartbreak for Morocco as Iran steal win with 95th minute own goal

Heartbreak for Morocco as Iran steal win with 95th minute own goal

Carlos Queiroz hailed a "beautiful" World Cup win for Iran as a stoppage-time own goal from Aziz Bouhaddouz gave them a Group B victory over Morocco.

There was an explosion of joy among the Iran squad, with coaching staff and substitutes sprinting onto the field and jumping for joy.

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The noise of their return reverberated around the 65,000 capacity Saint Petersburg stadium with both sets of fans enthusiastically blowing vuvuzelas at every attack. You don't have to involve this kind of thing with this game. The result has already left Morocco struggling to stay alive in its first World Cup in 20 years.

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Mile Jedinak stepped up and made no mistake from the spot, 1-1. "But we can do better, do a lot better". I was really pleased that the ball went in and that we were able to win the match.

Younes Belhanda headed past the post from Nordin Amrabat's cross shortly after as Morocco found their way behind the Iran defence easily, before Ayoub El Kaabi failed to test Alireza Beiranvand in the Iran goal when he swung wildly at a chance from 18 yards.

Amrabat was substituted by Morocco for a head injury.

Play almost ground to a halt in the final 15 minutes amid extended stoppages for injuries to Morocco's Amrabat and Omid Ebrahimi and Alireza Jahanbakhsh of Iran, and the match seemed headed to a draw until Bouhhadouz's miscue.

It did not matter on Friday as a hard-working Iran side, helped by a combination of poor Moroccan finishing, desperate defending and solid work from Beiranvand, survived early pressure to keep the game goalless.

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Amrabat continued to look lively for Morocco on the right, as their pass count reached 226 compared to Iran's 71 by the 51-minute mark, according to one graphic.

The second half both teams started playing a bit more conservatively, which was probably good for the mental health of their coaches but not as fun for all of us watching at home.

Then with barely 90 seconds left on the clock, Iran whipped in a free-kick from the left and Aziz Bouhaddouz produced a diving header at the near post to send the ball flashing into the net.

This is the first World Cup for Morocco since 1998 in France and their fifth overall.

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Morocco nearly 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.

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