Iran beats 10-man Wales to keep World Cup qualification hopes alive

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Photo credit: CNN

(CNN)— Two late goals secured Iran a sensational 2-0 win against Wales to maintain its hopes of qualifying to the World Cup knockout stages.

Rouzbeh Cheshmi struck from distance to brilliantly give Iran the lead in the 98th minute, while Ramin Rezaeian sealed the win in the 101st minute, securing Iran its first points of the tournament.

Both goals came after Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey had been sent off in the second half for a rash challenge outside his area, becoming the first player in this tournament to be shown a red card.

Iran created the better chances and were deserved winners in a match filled with tension as both teams needed victories to boost their chances of progressing from Group B.

After the heavy 6-0 defeat by England, Iran played much better in this its second match.

The score was goalless at the break after a nervy opening 45 minutes on a sweltering day in Al Rayyan. Wales striker Kiefer Moore had the best chance of the half, somehow heading wide when free on goal.

Though Ali Gholizadeh's thought he had put Iran ahead only for the goal to be ruled out by the video assistant referee (VAR).

Sardar Azmoun twice hit the post early in the second half as Iran set the tempo and Wales rode its luck and it looked as if both teams would share a point each before Cheshmi opened the scoring.

This story was first published on, "Iran beats 10-man Wales to keep World Cup qualification hopes alive."