Cymru vs. Iran | 2022 FIFA World Cup – Final Tournament Group Stage – Group B

      Live ReportMatch Summary

      1. 26 November, 2022 10:18 am

        The morning after the morning before. The back pages made bleak reading for Cymru fans, but the 0-0 draw between England and the United States last night means that Rob Page’s side now know exactly what they need to do, and what needs to go their way elsewhere, to make it through to the knock-out stages.

      2. 26 November, 2022 10:15 am

        Cymru manager Rob Page spoke to the media following the 2-0 defeat to Iran yesterday. “I’ll always take responsibility for performances. The sending-off didn’t help, of course, but at that point we had five forwards on the pitch so couldn’t get a defensive shape. The problem we always have is asking players who are not playing for their clubs to come and give performance after performance. We’ve got to prepare for another game against England, a local derby to finish off with.”

      3. Brennan Johnson reflects on a devastating defeat at the final whistle

      4. โ€œIt’s gutting, we’re gutted. There’s no other way to say it. We fought until the last second but it’s one of those things. It’s difficult to take but we have to recover and we have to go again. We have to pick ourselves up straight away. We still have one game left and we still have to try and enjoy the occasion as well.โ€ – Cymru captain Gareth Bale to BBC Sport Wales.

      5. Heartbreak for Cymru as Iran score two late goals

      6. Full-time verdict: Cymru were up against it for long periods but Iran could not take advantage of the chances they were able to create until deep into stoppage time. Manager Queiroz will feel his side more than deserved the two late goals after Hennessey had been shown a straight red card. A painful and frustrating afternoon for Page and his Cymru squad with only Allen’s return from injury a positive on what is a day to forget.

      7. Goal

        REZAEIAN Ramin

      8. A second for Iran as Rezaeian makes it 2-0 to Iran. A painful end for Cymru who threw everyone forward in search of an equaliser.

      9. Goal

        ROOZBEH Cheshmi

      10. There’s leaving it late and then there’s this. Chesmi breaks Cymru hearts with a late, late winner. Agonising, but Iran have been the better side at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium today and they will feel this is a deserved reward for their efforts.

      11. Yellow card

        JAHANBAKHSH Alireza

      12. Yellow card

        REZAEIAN Ramin

      13. Great to see Allen back on the field for the first time since September

      14. Substitution

        WARD Daniel replaces RAMSEY Aaron

      15. A huge blow for Cymru as Hennessey is show a straight red card following VAR intervention. Ward comes on for Ramsey as the game heads into stoppage time.

      16. Red card

        HENNESSEY Wayne

      17. Substitution

        KARIMI Ali replaces EZATOLAHI Saeid

      18. Allen comes on for his World Cup debut as he replaces Ampadu. This could be the last roll of the dice from Page with just over 10 minutes remaining.

      19. Substitution

        TORABI Mehdi replaces HAJSAFI Ehsan

      20. Substitution

        ROOZBEH Cheshmi replaces NOUROLLAHI Ahmad

      21. Substitution

        JAHANBAKHSH Alireza replaces GHOLIZADEH Ali

      22. Substitution

        ALLEN Joseph replaces AMPADU Ethan

      23. Iran are really pushing for the opening goal now and Cymru are hanging on. Page has switched to a back four following his double substitution but Queiroz and his side will know that this game is there for Iran to take right now.

      24. Bale cuts an increasingly frustrated figure as the match remains in the balance heading into the final 20 minutes

      25. Substitution

        ANSARIFARD Karim replaces AZMOUN Sardar

      26. Brilliant recovery run from Ampadu there. Lost the ball in the Iranian half but made his way back to make a decisive tackle in the Cymru area.

      27. Page opting for pace with his substitutions as James and Johnson are introduced for Roberts and Wilson. The duo will cause Iran problems as Cymru look to step things up in the attacking third and push for the opening goal. Expect a counter move from Iran manager Queiroz very soon.

      28. Substitution

        JAMES Daniel replaces WILSON Harry

      29. Substitution

        JOHNSON Brennan replaces ROBERTS Connor

      30. Iran hit both posts before Hennessey saves. Wow. If that passage of play doesn’t spark Cymru into action then nothing will.

      31. Rodon picked up a yellow card just before half-time and that will be a concern as he defends against Iran and their physical approach to this game.

      32. Johnson and Thomas both made positive impressions for Cymru off the bench against the United States on Monday, while Page will be keen to offer Allen some minutes ahead of the next game against England.

      33. Iran kick-off the second half with neither side making any changes. It will be interesting to see which manager shows his hand first.

      34. Cymru will be attacking the Red Wall in the second half. The 12th man could play a key role in this match.

      35. Half-time verdict: Not much between the two teams and it remains goalless at half-time. Cymru look a lot more positive in their overall play with Moore leading the line, but lapses in concentration at the back have allowed Iran to ask questions of their own and they could have been ahead if VAR hadn’t intervened to deny Gholizadeh an early goal. A nervy end to the opening half as Iran increased the pressure on the Cymru defence.

      36. Yellow card

        RODON Joseph

      37. Relief for Cymru as Iran are denied an early goal by VAR

      38. Cymru just being let down with a lack of quality in the final third. Page will not be happy about his side losing possession in key areas and allowing Iran to cause problems on the counter-attack. The game remains very much in the balance with half-time approaching.

      39. Ethan Ampadu pushes forward with the ball under pressure from the Iran midfield

      40. Concern for Williams following a heavy challenge from Rezaeian but he seems ok to continue. It’s a very open game with both teams pushing for the first goal.

      41. Ben Davies in opening half action for Cymru

      42. A warning for Cymru as Iran are denied an opening goal by VAR. A former defender himself, Page will be asking questions of his back line after that.

      43. Cymru playing much further forward than they did in the opening half against the United States. A good chance for Moore as he puts his body on the line. Great to see Roberts and Williams pushing forward from their wide positions at every opportunity.

      44. The Cymru starting line-up

      45. A positive start from both teams but Cymru will need to be wary of pushing too far forward and leaving space for Iran to exploit. Iran already offering a lot more than they did against England.

      46. No surprise for either team tactically as Cymru continue with their usual 3-4-2-1 formation while Iran revert back to a more familiar 4-3-3 shape having experimented unsuccessfully with a back five against England on Monday.

      47. Cymru kick-off in the early afternoon sun at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium. The time for talking is over. C’mon Cymru!

      48. Wayne Hennessey makes his 108th international appearance today. The goalkeeper made his debut back in May 2007 and was the hero for Cymru in the World Cup Play-Off Final against Ukraine.

      49. It was special to hear the national anthem at the World Cup on Monday after a 64-year wait. Expect another rousing rendition from the Red Wall today.

      50. Iran manager Carlos Queiroz has made five changes to the starting line-up that lost 6-2 to England in the opening game. Cymru boss Rob Page explained in his press conference yesterday that he expected his opposite number to revert to his preferred 4-3-3 formation so he will not be too surprised by the changes made.

      51. The Cymru squad have also arrived for their second match at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium. Captain Gareth Bale will set a new appearance for the men’s national team while 21-year old Neco Williams earns his 25th cap.

      52. The Red Wall are starting to arrive at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium with kick-off between Cymru and Iran just one hour away.

      53. The teams are in. Just one change for Cymru as Kieffer Moore replaces Dan James in the starting line-up. Joe Allen is named on the bench following his return to fitness while Gareth Bale captains the side on his 110th appearance.

      54. Only one man dominating the front and back pages across Wales today as captain Gareth Bale prepares to become the most-capped player in the history of the men’s national team.

      55. It’s matchday! Cymru take on Iran shortly in a crucial match in Group B. Stay with us here throughout the day as we bring you team news, live updates, photos, opinion and analysis together with all the pre-match build-up and post-match reaction.

      56. Cymru captain Gareth Bale is set to make his 110th senior international appearance today against Iran and he spoke to the media yesterday about the challenge ahead. “Both teams want to win the game and both teams need to score goals, so I’m sure it’s going to be an exciting and entertaining game for the neutral. For us, it’s going to be a difficult game as we know Iran are very good, but we will be looking to score as many goals as we can because we want to win the game.”

      57. Cymru completed their preparations at the training ground on Thursday with the entire squad taking part in the session. Rob Page will have a few selection decisions to make for the match against Iran, but that will be a welcome headache for the manager as his side look to build on their opening point against the United States.

      58. Cymru manager Rob Page confirmed on Thursday that midfielder Joe Allen will be available for selection against Iran. “The medical team have been exceptional and they’re the reason he’s now fit,” said Page to the media. “We were all concerned about him and the way he kept breaking down. He’s had to meet targets along the way and he’s met every one. If we’d played him in game one and he’d broken down he would have been completely out. We could have pushed him for USA, but due to the confidence we have to get out of the group I want him for the long-term.”

      59. Striker Kieffer Moore also features on the back pages today following his impressive performance from the bench against the United States on Monday.

      60. The Cymru squad are currently continuing their preparations for the second Group B match against Iran tomorrow.

      61. Kieffer Moore also spoke to the media this week and hopes his performance from the bench against the United States will be enough to earn him a starting place against Iran.

        “I wanted to impose myself on the game and do what I could, so hopefully I am in a position to start on Friday,โ€ said Moore. โ€œI knew what I had to do at half-time โ€“ just play my game really. To come away with a point from that game is a fair reflection. Every player wants to play every single game at a World Cup. Who doesnโ€™t want to play? But ultimately it was the managerโ€™s decision.

        I wouldn’t say I’ve had a tough life but it’s been a tough journey to get to this point, a lot of sacrifice and hard work. When I was working at the same time as I was playing football, it was a lot of hard work and a lot of sacrifices I had to put in. But ultimately that’s led me to have this work ethos which I’ve carried the whole way with me and I still have now.โ€

      62. Harry Wilson sat down with the media at the team base earlier today to look ahead to Friday’s Group B match against Iran. “It was an amazing feeling,” said Wilson as he reflected on starting in the 1-1 draw against the United States on Monday. “It was something that myself and all the lads have dreamt about since we were kids, so to finally step out on the world stage was amazing. Everybody is desperate to play, the squad we have is full of quality all over the pitch. We’ve started off with a solid point, it’s important not to lose your first game and we’re going into Friday’s game to get the win.”

      63. The fitness of midfielder Joe Allen continues to make headlines today with attentions very much on his recovery from a hamstring injury.

      64. Aaron Ramsey put it in the hard yards against the United States on Monday as the Cymru midfielder covered just over 12,500 metres according the official FIFA match stats. Only Christian Pulisic for the United States covered more distance in the match, registering 12,687 metres. Brennan Johnson recorded the fastest speed for Cymru as he clocked 35km/h, just ahead of Daniel James who recorded 34km/h.

      65. The one and only previous meeting between Cymru and Iran took place back in April 1978 when the late Phil Dwyer (below) scored the first of his two international goals to earn Mike Smith’s side a 1-0 win in an international friendly. Dwyer, who scored two goals in ten senior appearances for his country, sadly passed away last November at the age of 68. His second goal for Cymru came the following month in a 1-1 draw against England in Cardiff.

      66. Joe Allen missed the opening match of the tournament with a hamstring injury that has kept him out of action since the middle of September, but the influential midfielder offered Cymru manager a timely boost on Wednesday as he resumed training with the rest of the squad ahead of the second Group B match against Iran on Friday.

      67. Rob Page has spoken in the press today about Gareth Bale and how he still continues to surprise the Cymru manager. “Gareth looks after himself,” said Page. “Irrespective of what he does at club level, whenever he puts that jersey on for Wales he gives performances that surprise me. He certainly surprised me again [against the United States]. I said to him on about 75 minutes ‘Are you ok to carry on?’ He went, ‘Yes, I’m fine.’ At the end of the game he said ‘That’s why I stayed on, for the penalty.’ He manages himself through games. If he had gone full tilt from the first whistle he probably would have only got to half-time.”

      68. Cymru captain Gareth Bale equalled the men’s international appearance record held by Chris Gunter on Monday as he played his 109th senior match for the national team. Already the all-time leading goalscorer, Bale added to his tally with his 41st goal as his penalty earned a point against the United States at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium.

      69. There is no live report available for this match

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