MX23RW : Thursday, February 21 18:58:01

Live Commentary: Iran 1-1 Portugal - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live coverage of the 2018 World Cup clash between Iran and Portugal from Saransk, which ended 1-1.
Live Commentary: Iran 1-1 Portugal - as it happened
© Reuters

Portugal booked their spot in the last-16 stage of the 2018 World Cup as Group B runners-up courtesy of a 1-1 draw with Iran in Saransk.

Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty for the Euro 2016 winners, but a first-half Ricardo Quaresma effort looked to be securing all three points for Fernando Santos's team.

Iran were incredibly awarded a penalty in the 93rd minute following intervention from VAR, however, and Karim Ansarifard converted from the spot to set up a grandstand finish.

Portugal looked to have won the group entering the final moments, but Iran's equaliser and a leveller for Spain against Morocco means that Santos' side will take on Uruguay in the round of 16 on June 30, leaving Spain to face Russia on July 1.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.

6.01pmEvening all! Sports Mole's 2018 World Cup coverage continues from Saransk as Iran face Portugal in Group B. Portugal need a point in this match to secure their spot in the round of 16, but Iran must win to qualify, and could even finish top of the section if Spain lose to Morocco in tonight's other Group B clash. It is shaping up to be a very exciting finish to this section - stay tuned!

6.04pmTonight will be Iran and Portugal's second World Cup encounter. Their first occurred back in 2006, and Cristiano Ronaldo's first ever World Cup goal and an effort from Deco saw Portugal record a 2-0 victory in the group stages. Right, without further ado, let me bring you up-to-speed with the team news...


IRAN: Beiranvand; Hajsafi, Pouraliganji, Hosseini, Ramin; Taremi, Omid, Ezatolahi, Amiri, Jahanbakhsh; Azmoun

PORTUGAL: Patricio; Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Raphael; Mario, W Carvalho, Adrien Silva, Quaresma; Andre Silva, Ronaldo

6.10pmPortugal boss Fernando Santos has made three changes to the team that started against Morocco last time out, with Adrien Silva, Ricardo Quaresma and Andre Silva coming in for Joao Moutinho, Goncalo Guedes and Bernardo Silva. Cristiano Ronaldo has four goals in this summer's competition, and the Real Madrid forward will again lead the line for the Iberian nation tonight.

Cristiano Ronaldo grabs his third during the World Cup group game between Portugal and Spain on June 15, 2018© Reuters

6.13pmIran's team, meanwhile, shows just the one change from their 1-0 defeat to Spain last time out, with Karim Ansarifard dropping out for Alireza Jahanbakhsh in an attacking position. Sardar Azmoun will again lead the Iran line, with Omid Ebrahimi the fifth midfielder in a 4-5-1 formation.

6.16pmSo there we have it. The two teams are in, and we are now just about 45 minutes from kickoff in this one. Let me just run through the current situation in Group B, as it is a little bit complicated. As it stands, Spain and Portugal have four points on the board to sit first and second respectively, with Iran in third on three points, and already-eliminated Morocco in fourth on zero points.


6.22pmPortugal will definitely be in the knockout round of the competition if they pick up a point in this match. However, they can also qualify with a defeat if Spain - who face Morocco tonight - lose by a bigger margin. If both Portugal and Spain lose then the team with the worse result would finish in third.

6.25pmOn the flip side, if Portugal and Spain both win then the team with the biggest victory would finish top of the group. The Iberian rivals currently have identical records and are separated by disciplinary records. If everything finishes level then the two teams will draw lots for group position.

6.28pmAs for Iran, they must beat Portugal in this match to qualify, and could even top the section if Spain were to lose to Morocco. Got it? Good! In all seriousness, it could get a little bit complicated tonight, but we have all avenues covered. Can Iran upset the form book with a win in this game?


6.35pmIran, who have never been past the group stage of a World Cup, opened their Group B challenge with a 1-0 win over Morocco on June 15, but suffered a 1-0 defeat to Spain last time out. Team Melli have actually never won their final group game at a World Cup - losing three of four such fixtures.

6.38pmIran are also winless against European opposition at the World Cup - losing six of their seven fixtures. That said, in Carlos Queiroz, they have a manager with an extensive knowledge of Portuguese football. There is no question that Spain found it difficult against Iran last time out, and they are certainly capable of causing Portugal a lot of problems in this match.

6.42pmPortugal, meanwhile, opened their 2018 World Cup with a 3-3 draw against Iberian rivals Spain on June 15, before recording a 1-0 victory over Morocco last week. Ronaldo has scored all four of his team's goals this summer, and he became Europe's all-time leading international goalscorer when he netted the only goal of the match against Morocco. Can the Real Madrid forward net again tonight?


6.48pmPortugal finished fourth at the 2006 World Cup, but they were eliminated in the first knockout round in 2010, before going out in the group stages four years ago in Brazil. Santos' side only need a point here to make the round of 16, and any team with Ronaldo in stands half a chance!

6.52pmThe runner-up in Group B will face the winner of Group A in the round of 16 on June 30, while the winner of Group B will take on the runner-up of Group A on July 1. Uruguay secured first spot in Group A earlier this season by beating the hosts Russia, who finished second in the section.

6.55pmHere we go then; the time for talking is almost over. Portugal need a point to book their spot in the last-16 stage of the competition, while only a win for Iran will do. I shall also keep you up-to-speed with any goals that are scored in Group B's other clash between Spain and Morocco. Kickoff is next!

0 minKICKOFF! Portugal kick things off here...

2 min... it must be said that there is a wonderful atmosphere inside the stadium tonight. It has been a fast start as well, with Portugal already looking long on a couple of occasions into Ronaldo. Portugal then win a free kick in the middle of the park when Omid flies into a tackle with Raphael.

3 minSAVE! Beiranvand keeps out a decent strike from Ronaldo!

5 minIt has been all Portugal in the early moments of this match, with the Iberian nation dominating the ball. Iran, however, will not mind too much as they sit deep in their defensive shape here.

7 minCarvalho loses control of the ball in the middle of the park and Iran are away through Taremi, but the number 17 cannot slide a pass into Azmoun. It has been a very lively start to this match, and I would be surprised if there were not goals in this one. Remember, Portugal only need a draw.

8 minHalf-chance for Iran as Amiri comes onto a pass on the edge of the Portugal box, but his effort was always moving wide of the post. Portugal's defence has been a little shaky early on here.

9 minCHANCE! Huge chance for Portugal as the ball breaks to Mario inside the Iran box following a mistake from Beiranvand, but the attacker fires over the crossbar!

11 minPlenty happening here as pressure from Iran forces Patricio to fire the ball out for a throw. Both teams look nervous in the early stages of this match, and we have a real game on our hands.

13 minPossession football from Portugal as Iran drop into a defensive shape once again.

14 minCHANCE! Beiranvand makes another mess of a cross from the right, but luckily for Iran, it does not fall for a red shirt! Quaresma then delivers another ball moments later. Dear me.

15 minUPDATE! Spain are losing to Morocco in Group B's other clash. Wow!

16 minAs it stands, Portugal would win the group, with Spain finishing second despite the fact that La Roja have just fallen behind. Portugal have a free kick in a dangerous position here...

17 min... Ronaldo's free kick is deflected over the Iran crossbar.

20 minIran are finding it difficult to get out of their own half at the moment as Portugal continue to force the issue. It is not much of a surprise that Portugal are delivering from wide positions when considering that Iran's goalkeeper has looked far from secure in the first 20 minutes of this one.

21 minUPDATE! Isco has equalised for Spain against Morocco.

22 minGood grief there have been some lively challenges in the last few moments, and Iran finally have a free kick in a forward position when Adrien Silva brings Hajsafi to the deck...

22 min... CLOSE! Rezaeian's effort is not too far away!

23 minPortugal goalkeeper Patricio is currently down receiving some treatment following a late challenge from Azmoun. Iran have been more adventurous going forward in the last few minutes.

25 minIt must be said that the first 25 minutes of this match have flown past here.

27 minJust a reminder that the winner of Group B will take on Russia in the next round, while the runner-up will face Uruguay, who were very impressive in the group stages. Still goalless in this one.

29 minLittle over 15 minutes of the first period remaining, and Portugal have been the better side without really threatening to take this game by the scruff of the neck. Iran hardly ventured forward against Spain last time out, but they are certainly committing more players forward in this one.

31 minPlayers from both teams are down inside the box, with Azmoun and Fonte clashing heads.

33 minLittle over 10 minutes of the first period remaining, and not too much has happened in the last few minutes. Portugal have had the ball, but are not threatening to score at the moment.

33 minBOOKING! Raphael (Portugal) is booked for a late challenge on Jahanbakhsh.

35 minSAVE! Patricio has to keep out a flicked header from Ezatolahi.

37 minPortugal work the ball down the right as Cedric finds Quaresma, but Hajsafi does well to make a couple of blocks in quick succession. Iran have just dropped into a defensive shape here.

39 minSmart defending from Pepe as the former Real Madrid centre-back manages to clear the danger inside his own box. Iran are certainly dangerous when they commit players in the final third.

41 minRonaldo hammers one from distance, but it was always comfortable for the Iran goalkeeper. We have not seen too much from Ronaldo in this first period, which means he will score a treble in the second half. Just a reminder that a point would take Portugal into the first knockout round.

43 minQuaresma lifts the ball over the Iran crossbar following a smart move down the right.

45 minWell, as it stands, Portugal and Spain are heading into the knockout round of the competition. However, a goal for Iran would change all of that. It has not been the most entertaining first half of football here, but Portugal are doing just about enough at the moment. The half-time whistle is imminent.

45 minGOAL! Iran 0-1 Portugal (Quaresma)

45+1 minOh my word! Portugal take the lead in the closing moments of the first half as Quaresma dances into a dangerous position before using the outside of his foot to bend the ball into the top corner!

45+2 minIt is just an absolute stunner from Quaresma, and that will be that for the first period.

45+4 minHALF-TIME: Iran 0-1 Portugal

7.48pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close with Portugal leading Iran 1-0 courtesy of a wonderful effort from Quaresma in the final stages of the half. Iran had their moments in the opening 45 minutes, but it is Portugal who lead at the half-time interval here.

7.53pmSTATISTICS! Portugal dominated the first-half possession with 76%, while they managed nine attempts - three of which were on target. Iran, meanwhile, managed one attempt on target from three shots. Just the one yellow card to report, and that came for Portugal's Raphael in the 33rd minute.

7.58pmBENCH WATCH! Portugal boss Santos has a number of attacking options on his bench tonight, with the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Guedes, Martins, Moutinho and Bernardo Silva all available. Iran manager Queiroz, meanwhile, has options in the shape of Ansarifad, Shojaei and Dejagah.

46 minRESTART! Iran resume the action here...

47 min... no changes from either side at the break, which is not much of a surprise. However, I suspect that both managers will have alterations in mind as the second period develops here.

49 minIt has been a lively start to the second period, with both teams counter-attacking following loose passes in the final third of the field. Iran will still bide their time here despite needing two goals without reply to book their spot in the next round. The goal from Quaresma was a really big one.

51 minRonaldo goes down inside the penalty box following a challenge from a couple of Iran defenders, but the referee is not interested, and there did not seem to be too much in it to be honest.

51 minVAR want the referee to have a look at the Ronaldo fall!


52 minOh my word! The referee gives the penalty following a VAR review! Ronaldo went down inside the box under a challenge, and Portugal now have the chance to score from the spot.

53 minSAVE! Ronaldo sees his penalty kept out by the Iranian goalkeeper!

54 minWhat a turn-up! Could Iran use that as inspiration? We have a game on our hands!

54 minBOOKINGS! Azmoun and Hajisafi (Iran) have both been booked for dissent.

55 minSENT OFF! Iran boss Queiroz has been sent to the stands!

56 minOh no, Querioz is back! All happening here!

56 minIRAN SUB! Hajsafi is replaced by Mohammadi for Iran.

58 minSuper defending from Pepe as the Portugal centre-back manages to clear a low cross from the right, with Iran forcing the issue. Azmoun was waiting to simply slide the ball home there.

60 minLittle over 30 minutes of football remaining, and it would be some story if Iran could turn this around having survived a Ronaldo spot kick. Spain are still at 1-1 with Morocco in Group's other match.

62 minPortugal boss Santos does not look too happy on the touchline at the moment, with Iran more than in this football match with plenty of action still to come. Just a reminder that Portugal only need a point to be sure of a spot in the round of 16, but it could quickly go wrong for the Iberian nation.

64 minBOOKING! Quaresma (Portugal) is booked for a poor challenge on Ezatolahi.

66 minRonaldo drives into a dangerous position before releasing a shot, but the ball was always moving wide of the post. Still no movement on the Portugal bench as we approach 70 minutes here.

68 minPossession football from Portugal as the Iberians prepare to make a change here.

70 minCedric heads clear ahead of Taremi as another Iran attack comes to an end here.

70 minPORTUGAL SUB! Bernardo Silva replaces Quaresma for Portugal.

70 minIRAN SUB! Jahanbakhsh is replaced by Ghoddos for Iran.

72 minQuite a scrappy game at the moment as both teams continue to concede little fouls.

72 minAdrien Silva misses the Iran crossbar with a strike from distance.

73 minCHANCE! Ghoddos just fires wide of the Portugal post with a powerful effort!

75 minIran boss Queiroz is getting a telling-off from the referee right now.

76 minIRAN SUB! Iran make their third change as Ansarifard replaces Ezatolahi.

77 minIran wanted a penalty following a tumble from Azmoun, and Queiroz was calling for VAR when the referee came over. Portugal are struggling to keep the ball at the moment here.

78 minAndre Silva fires high of the Iran crossbar with an effort from outside the box.

80 minLittle over 10 minutes of this Group B clash remaining, and Iran need two goals if they are to book their spot in the next round. Spain, meanwhile, are still level with Morocco. Portugal are winning the group as things stand, but there is still time for everything to change in this particular section.

82 minThe Iran players are not happy once again as Ronaldo clashes with Pouraliganji, leaving the defender on the ground. There was not too much in it, but VAR will have a look again.

82 minThe referee is still having a look...

83 min... BOOKING! Ronaldo (Portugal) is booked following the review.

84 minPORTUGAL SUB! Mario is replaced by Moutinho for Portugal.

85 minUPDATE! Spain have fallen behind to Morocco, scenes!

87 minPortugal have possession in Iran's half of the field as we approach full time here.

89 minIran look down the field once again, but Fonte is on hand to make the clearance. Iran need to score twice in the latter stages if they are to make the last-16 stage of this World Cup.

90+1 minWe have another stoppage here as VAR have a look at a possible Cedric handball.

90+1 minWe are into the first of six additional minutes here!

90+1 minThe referee will have a look at the possible Cedric handball.


90+3 minPretty incredible scenes here as Iran are awarded a late penalty following a review. Cedric looked to handle inside the box, and Santos simply cannot believe it. Iran with the spot kick here...

90+3 min... GOAL! Iran 1-1 Portugal (Ansarifard, pen)

90+4 minIran's number 10 finds the top corner with a super spot kick.

90+4 minCHANCE! Taremi fires just wide of the Portugal post from close range! What an incredible chance for Iran to turn this around. Absolute scenes in this World Cup clash.

90+6 minPORTUGAL SUB! Andre Silva is replaced by Guedes.

90+7 minIran continue to deliver long as we enter the final moments of this match.

90+8 minFULL-TIME: Iran 1-1 Portugal

8.58pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the second period to a close with Portugal booking their spot in the next round of the competition courtesy of a 1-1 draw with Iran. What an incredible second 45 minutes of football here. So much to reflect on and talk about! The final score is 1-1, and Portugal finish second in the group. Thanks for joining Sports Mole once again!

Share this article now:
Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring the opening goal during his side's World Cup Group B clash against Morocco on June 20, 2018
Read Next:
Queiroz: 'Ronaldo part of magic formula'

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account