After an optimistic start, the game turned flat in the second-half with injuries and bookings. Morocco’s Sofyan Amrabat’s foul on Iran’s Saman Ghoddos at stoppage time set up the win for Iran after Bouhaddouz headed the free-kick from Ehsan Haji Safi’s ball in his own goal. Morocco have a mountain to conquer if they are to qualify for the knockout stages.
Here are the live updates from the match:
Iran snatches away a win from Morocco in the final minutes. Historic day for Iran as they win their first world cup match since 1998 with a surprising 32 percent ball possession. It is going to be tough for Morocco to recover from this match. Morocco’s 18-match unbeaten run has come to an end and they have to plan out their strategies against Portugal and Spain. For now, Iran takes three points to top Group B.
FULL TIME. Iran 1-0 Morocco
90+3 minute: Freekick for Iran on the left far post. GOAL!!!! Morocco’s Aziz Bouhaddouz heads an own goal to give Iran their first goal.
90+ 1 minute: Iran’s forward Karim Ansarifard gets a Yellow card!
90 minute:6 minutes of stoppage time
88 minute: Morocco’s Romain Saiss tackles Iran’s Rahim Rezaeian, who goes down in pain. Referee calls it a fair challenge.
85 minute: Morocco curl the ball to the left flank to Achraf Hakimi, who takes his eye off the ball.
84 minute: Iran’s Alireza Jahanbaksh is taken off the pitch after a cramp. Substitute Saman Ghoddos replaces him
82 minute: Substitution for Morocco M. Da Costa in for Amine Harit
10 minutes to go
79 minute: Corner for Morocco after Ali Beiranvand saves a bullet by Hakim Ziyach.
77 minute: Iran’s Omid Ebrahimi gets hit on the rib cage and is substituted by M. Hosseini
75 minute: Substitution for Morocco. Sofyan Amrabat replaces brother Noureddine Amrabat.
72 minute: Noureddine Amrabat goes down after a challenge from Iranian defender.
68 minute: Corner for Iran. But the ball is hit away from the box.
66 minute: An attacking move from Iranian coach Queiroz Carlos as he substitutes Mehdi Taremi in place of Masoud Shojaei.
63 minute: Morocco’s Hakim Ziyach survives a booking after clearly fouling Iran’s defender Ehsan Hajisafi.
61 minute: Corner for Morocco. Mbark Boussoufa floats the ball in, but Iran’s goalkeeper Ali Beiranvand punches the ball out of danger.
60 minute: Morocco enjoy a healthy possession but cannot get past the Iranian defence.
56 minute: Both teams need a touch of magic to take away three points from the game. Promising attacks from Iran and Morocco but both have failed to capitalise in the front.
55 minute: Iran’s Omid Ebrahimi goes down after a slide tackle, gets hit on the rib.
50 minute: The Iranian’s are crowded for space by Morocco’s defenders after a threatening counter-attack
48 minute: Amine Harit hits a wide shot at the far post, Morocco miss another opportunity.
46 minute: Yellow card!!! Iran’s Alireza Jahanbakhsh gets booked for his tackle on Morocco’s Ziyech. Second Yellow card for Iran.
45 minute: Great run by Morocco’s Noureddine Amrabat but fails to find a forward in the Iranian penalty box.
Players are back onto the pitch. Second-half is underway.
Iran seems to have found its feet after being on the back-foot during the start of the game. Morocco, strong on paper, have their task cut out. Both the teams go goalless after an entertaining first-half at Saint Petersburg. Both the teams had their chances but failed to score. Iranian defenders have put themselves on the line of the ball to stop Morocco from scoring a goal. Iran struggled to create clear cut opportunities on counter-attacks. With heavyweights Portugal and Spain in Group B, both Iran and Morocco need to win this match to fancy their chances in the knockout stages. Iran needs inspiration up front to make most of the chances.
Half-time!! Morocco 0-0 Iran
2 minutes stoppage time
44 minute: Freekick for Iran. Another air-ball from the Iranían forward. Iran are on the driver’s seat.
39 minute: Morocco’s Hakim Ziyach chips an air ball to Ayoub ElKaabi. ElKaabi fails to make any contact and Iran’s Ali Beiranvand plunges on to the ball.
35 minute: Iran’s Jahanbakhsh hits an ambitious elevated shot away from the goal. Iran waste an opportunity.
34 minute: Yellow card!! El Ahmadi fouls Iran’s Azmoun, gets a yellow. Free-kick for Iran.
31 minute: Iran’s forward Aziz Bouhaddouz is down.
30 minute: Sweet play by Morocco’s Amine Harit on the edge, only to be saved by Iran’s Ali Beiranvand.
26 minute: Morocco’s Hakim Ziyach fouls an Iranian defender near the Iran penalty box.
22 minute: Iran show signs of settling in as Morocco defenders are forced to get back after Masoud Shoejaei threatens in the final third. Morocco defender Romain Saiss clears the ball.
18 minute: Absolute chaos as the Iran defenders are all over the place, after a free-kick from Morocco. Two shots at goal were blocked. Iran survive.
Both Morocco and Iran have never won an opening match at a World cup.
13 minute: Morocco have more than 80 percent of the possession as they continue to dominate the Asian side. Seems like they have plenty of space to operate in the midfield.
10 minute: Yellow Card!!! Iran’s Masoud Shojaei Soleiman receives a Yellow card early in the match after a late challenge to Mbark Boussoufa.
7 minute: Morocco’s Ayoud El-Kaabi misses a golden opportunity, shoots a wide ball.
3 minute: Morocco arrive at the World cup with an 18-match unbeaten run. Younes Belhanda takes an early corner. Hakim Ziyech hits an air-ball.
Morocco XI: El Kajoui, Benatia (C), Saiss, Achraf, Harit, Belhanda, Boussoufa, El Ahmadi, Ziyach, N. Amrabat, El Kaabi
Subs: Da Costa, Dirar, Carcela-González, Bouhaddouz, Fajr, Bono, Boutaïb, S. Amrabat, Tagnaouti, Aït Bennasser, Mendyl, En-Nesyri
Iran XI: Beiranvand, Hajisafi, Cheshmi, Pouraliganji, Rezaeian, Shojaei (C), Ebrahimi, Amiri, Ansarifard, Jahanbakhsh, Azmoun
Subs: Dejagah, Ghoochannejhad, Montazeri, Taremi, Mazaheri, Ghoddos, Abedzadeh, Khanzadeh, Torabi, Hosseini, Mohammadi