WORLD CUP: Portugal Through To Round Of 16

A dramatic end to the game in the Mordovia Arena saw Iran snatch a 1-1 draw with a late penalty but it’s Portugal who progress in second place behind Spain.

The first half was lively enough and the pattern of play was consistent. The European champions looked a better unit than they had done on the previous two outings and probed for the opening, appearing relaxed that they had what it took to do the job required.

Crosses were being thrown in from both sides – wingers Quaresma and Joao Mario encouraged to continue doing so after some less-than convincing handling from Beiranvand. And it was from a good crossing opportunity that the goal came.

As the clock ticked into added time in the first half, Quaresma stepped inside the right-hand section of the area and struck it sweetly with the outside of his right foot, allowing a gentle curl to evade the diving, oustretched Iranian stopper, and bringing it nicely inside the far post.

Cristiano Ronaldo was given a spot kick in Portugal’s Group B finale with Iran, which broke the record as the 19th penalty of the finals.

The Portugal No.7 saw his penalty saved by Iran goalkeeper Ali Beiranvand, who leapt left to deny Ronaldo his fifth goal of Russia 2018.

Of those kicks, 14 have been converted, with five others now either saved or missing the target.

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