Iran faced elimination if they lost and were almost unrecognizable as the team that was beaten by England 6-2 in their first game.
Doha, Qatar – Iran scored twice late in stoppage time to secure a stunning 2-0 win over Wales that breathed new life into their World Cup campaign.
Iran, which was facing elimination if it lost, were almost unrecognizable from their opening game defeat by England 6-2. They were well-deserved winners, even though they gave up very late.
The victory gives Iran three points in Group A, two more than Wales which drew 1-1 against the United States in its first game. England and the United States will meet later in the day. Next Tuesday’s group meeting will see Iran face off against the United States and Wales take on their old rivals.
These were the words of Iranian supporters at the match at Doha’s Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium.
Rana Mahmudi, 27, with Farzad Fardin (30:
“We are very happy with today’s victory. It took 90 minutes for the goal to be scored. We were anxious and frustrated but, thank God, we got a last-minute victory. We hope to win against the USA 5-0.
Syed Tagi Hussani 66, and Syed Abas Hussani 43, are their sons:
“We knew we’d win today, but we expect to win big against the United States.”
Hamed Ramezanzade, 32 years old:
“We lost our first game very badly. I expected a win easy going into today’s match, but Wales performed very well. I would have been very disappointed if we lost today. But, I am proud that the Iranian team won. It was not an easy win, but I must admit.
Masud Khoram, aged 34:
“Our players were under pressure from the start of the game. Personally, I feel the manager is not allowing some good players to play. I don’t know why, but he may have other plans.
“But I think the player selection was not good in our first game, even today. We won in the final minute. It was not a great win. I hope that in future matches the coach will let other players on the team play”.
Saman Salamat 17:
“All of Iran knows that we could have done better in the first game – 6-2 is not Iran’s standard. My heart breaks every time I think back to that game. Although I am happy, I expected at least a win of 6-0 today. Iran deserves more.
“We have to win the USA game and we will definitely go to the round of 16 without any doubt. Let’s show the rest of the world.
“We lost the first game for many reasons, our goalkeeper was injured in the first minutes, the fans were upset, everything bad happened that day. The pressure was on the team with the first two goals. They then let other goals slide.