World Cup: Lesson learnt, Iran move on
With goalkeeper Ali Beiranvand likely sidelined after a scary injury in Iran’s World Cup opener, back-up Hossein Hosseini has a tall task against Wales and star Gareth Bale.
Iran, in last place in Group B after a 2-6 loss to England, face Wales on Friday at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.
Hosseini has already faced a daunting opponent, taking over when Beiranvand was stretchered off in the first half of the tournament-opening loss on Monday before England had opened the scoring.
Iran did not comment on Beiranvand’s injury status. If it is determined that Beiranvand had a concussion, he’d be ruled out under Fifa’s return to-play rules.
Iran head coach Carlos Quieroz was pragmatic following the rout.
“We win or learn. We had the privilege to learn a lot of things with the English team,” he said.
“And I will say in conclusion that we’re much better prepared now to play against Wales.”
Bale converted on a penalty kick in the 82nd minute to earn Wales a 1-1 draw with the United States in their opener.
The draw gave Wales a point in their first World Cup match since 1958 and a shot at the knockout round within reach. Bale now has 41 goals in 109 international appearances.
Bale is not Wales’ only threat. Kieffer Moore, a striker for Bournemouth, could make his first World Cup start. Moore was a second-half sub against the United States and immediately made an impact.
Iran have never advanced to the knockout round.