Portugal through

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 26 Jun 2018 12:00:42


 

Saransk

Karim Ansarifard scored a 90th minute penalty to help Iran draw their last Group B game with Portugal but that did not deny Cristiano Ronaldo’s men to sneak into the knock-outs of the World Cup, Monday night.The draw meant Portugal finish on the second spot behind Spain with both the teams finising with five points each.Spain topped pool with better goal average.Portugal will now meet Group A topper Uruguay on June 30.Portugal had an early chance to take the lead in the 9th minute when Ronaldo floated a lovely cross from the left that was cleared to the feet of his team-mate after a mix-up between Iranian keeper Alireza Beiranvand and Saeid Ezatolahi, only for the midfielder to blast it well over the
crossbar.


In the 37th minute Iran got a opportunity to take the lead when Sardar Azmoun swiftly moved up and made an effort to dribble past a few defenders. But Portugal defenders, Pepe and Jose Fonte, stood strong inside the box.Desperate for an opener, Portugal got the breakthrough on 45 minutes through Ricardo Quaresma.The right-winger, cut in off the right flank with an Adrien Silva pass. He beautifully slipped around two defenders and launched an absolute screamer off his right foot that nestled itself in the top-left corner from 18 yards. Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand dived but in vain.Portugal would have been two goals up but for Iranian goalkeeper Beiranvand’s stunning spot kick save in the 53rd minute.


The custodian read Ronaldo’s low effort and dived to his left to grab the ball and deny Portugal stretch the lead.Iran had their chance to level in the later part of the sceond session when Vahid Amiri won a free-kick out on the left wing after Cedric caught him with a nippy challenge but Portugal defend it cleanly.But when it looked that they would run away with full points, Ansarifard scored from the spot to share points.