A missed Cristiano Ronaldo penalty and a late VAR penalty review doomed Portugal to a second-place finish in Group B as it drew 1-1 to Iran on Monday afternoon.
Portugal entered the match level alongside Spain with four points while both teams also had a plus-1 goal differential. So it was imperative for Portugal to win the match by as many goals possible in order to win the group.
Iran had an opportunity to advance as well, entering the afternoon third in Group B with three points after an opening win against Morocco, the other minnows of the group.
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It was a very shaky start from Iran as miscommunications between defense and goaltender along with a dropped cross from keeper Ali Beiranvand presented Portugal with a couple of golden chances within the opening 13 minutes, but it was unable to capitalize.
Portugal's consistent pressure would finally pay off in the 45th minute when Ricardo Quaresma bent a brilliant shot with the outside of his foot from the right side of the box into the far side of the net. It was Portugal's first goal at the 2018 World Cup not scored by Ronaldo:
OH MY, Quaresma! 😱😱— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 25, 2018
The 34-year-old rewards his manager with a beautiful outside-of-the-foot shot that finds the upper corner. pic.twitter.com/wmhTCm7X8y
Ronaldo was awarded a penalty in the 53rd minute, which was a foul that looked destined to put Iran down 2-0, but Ronaldo's chance was saved well by Beiranvand, who went down to his left and kept the shot out:
Ronaldo steps up from the spot but it's SAVED by Beiranvand! pic.twitter.com/LKLaeWSyWE— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 25, 2018
VAR would break Portuguese hearts though when a handball was called, giving Iran a penalty in the third minute of stoppage time. Karim Ansarifard would step up and slot in the penalty to tie the game and award the Group B title to Spain.
At the same time, Iago Aspas' goal for Spain drew the 2010 winners level with Morocco, ensuring it would win the group with five points.
But for Ansarifard and Iran, it wasn't enough as Iran is out of the tournament.