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World Cup Rewind: Iran downs Wales, Netherlands ties Ecuador, and more


Iran boosted itself back into the Group B picture on Friday with a dramatic 2-0 victory over Wales.

Two late goals from Roozbeh Cheshmi and Ramon Rezaeian propelled Iran past Robert Page’s squad, setting up an intriguing final group stage match with the USMNT on Tuesday.

VAR waived off an Iran goal in the 17th minute after Ali Gholizadeh was offsides before he finished off a pass from Sardar Azmoun.

Wales continued to remain in the match after Iran struck the post on two separate occasions early in the second half. Azmoun rattled the post before Gholizadeh’s follow-up chance was also denied by the post.

Iran’s continued pressure paid off in the final minutes of the match with Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey being sent off after bundling over Mehdi Taremi outside of the box. After Wales was reduced to 10 men, Iran snatched the winning goal with Cheshmi’s long-range strike nestling in the corner of the net.

Taremi helped set up Iran’s second and final goal of the match, as Rezaeian’s chip past Danny Ward sealed three points for the Asian squad.

Wales will face England on Tuesday while Iran takes on the USMNT.

Here is a closer look at all of Friday’s World Cup action:

Netherlands 1, Ecuador 1

(Cody Gakpo 6′) – (Enner Valencia 48′)

Netherlands and Ecuador remained in the top two spots in Group A of the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Friday with the two teams playing out a 1-1 draw from Doha.

Cody Gakpo scored his second goal of the tournament for Louis Van Gaal’s squad while Enner Valencia equalized to give him three goals in two appearances for Ecuador.

Gakpo needed only six minutes to give the Netherlands an early advantage, picking up a pass from Davy Klaassen before drilling a left-footed shot into the top corner. It was Gakpo’s second-consecutive appearance with one goal to his name.

Ecuador looked to grab an equalizer before halftime, but Andries Noppert denied Valencia on the verge of halftime. However, Valencia would have the last laugh as he delivered Ecuador’s equalizing goal in the 49th minute.

Noppert denied Pervis Estupinan’s shot in the box but Valencia was able to slam home the rebound for his World Cup goal for Ecuador.

Gonzalo Plata struck the crossbar later in the half while Memphis Depay did his best to propel the Netherlands back in front. However, neither team could find a winning goal as the points were split at Khalifa International Stadium.

Netherlands faces Qatar on Tuesday in its group stage finale while Ecuador takes on Senegal.

Qatar 1, Senegal 3

(Mohammed Muntari 78′) – (Boulaye Dia 41′, Famara Diedhiou 48′, Ahmadou Dieng 84′)

World Cup hosts Qatar became the first team eliminated from the competition following a 3-1 home loss to Senegal on Friday.

Boulaye Dia and Famara Diedhiou scored seven minutes apart for Senegal while Edouard Mendy made two saves in the victory for the African side.

Dia broke the deadlock in the 41st minute for Senegal, taking advantage of a failed clearance by Qatar and connecting past Meshaal Barsham for his first goal of the tournament.

Senegal doubled its lead in the 48th minute as Ismail Jakobs’ dangerous cross was headed home by Famara Diedhiou for a 2-0 advantage.

Qatar pulled one goal back through Mohammed Muntari’s header past Mendy in the 78th minute, but Senegal would regain its two-goal advantage not long after.

Dieng’s first-time shot just three minutes later sealed the victory for Senegal, keeping them alive in the race for a top-two finish.

Senegal faces Ecuador on Tuesday while Qatar ends its World Cup involvement against the Netherlands.

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