Iran 1-1 Portugal: VAR controversy dominates feisty clash in Saransk as Euro 2016 winners advance to World Cup knockout stage
Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty in the second half which could have taken him level with Harry Kane in the race for the Golden Boot
Iran nearly caused one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history in Saransk as VAR controversy marred their draw with Portugal.
The Euro 2016 winners took the lead through a fantastic effort from Ricardo Quaresma which sent them top of the group thanks to Morocco taking a shock lead against Spain.
But then VAR took centre stage, with referee Enrique Cáceres making some questionable calls.
First, Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo was brought down inside the box and was subsequently given a penalty – once VAR had been consulted.
Keen to catch England skipper Harry Kane in the race for the Golden Boot, Ronaldo picked himself up before seeing his spot kick saved.
However, he could quite easily have seen red after an off-the-ball incident was caught by VAR. Caceres eventually gave him a yellow for his trouble.
And then, it was Portugal who were left to lament a questionable penalty awarded by VAR, this time against Cedric Soares.
The Southampton man jumped for the ball, but was adjudged to have handled in the area.
Karim Ansarifard duly stepped up to smash the ball into the top corner and set the game up for a tense finale.
With tempers frayed and Iran desperate, Mehdi Taremi had the golden chance when the ball fell to him but he could only put the ball into the side netting.
Portugal will now face Uruguay in Sochi in their round-of-16 tie after Spain’s draw with Morocco ensured they would have to settle for second place.
More to follow…
Should you block ads? Adblocker