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Portugal ready for ‘tough battle’ with Iran

01 July, 2018, 00:38 | Author: Lula Armstrong
  • Ferguson Ronaldo and Queiroz

Twenty penalty kicks have now been awarded at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russian Federation, with 15 of them being converted.

Adrien Silva, Quaresma and André Silva earned their first starts of the tournament, meanwhile Iran called on the return of AZ Alkmaar's Alireza Jahanbakhsh for their must-win game.

Iran steered closer to qualification when Iran also had their own VAR awarded penalty after Cedric Soares was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box (I disagree with that decision personally). Cacares gestured to the spot for the record 20th penalty kick of the World Cup, and Karim Ansarifard converted in the third minute of stoppage time to give Iran a 1-1 draw. "The best players in the world face that when there isn't an opportunity to really make it happen", said Portugal boss Fernando Santos.

Iramatov reversed the call, pointing to the center circle to signal goal, and Spain got the 2-2 draw.

The fans became so loud that at one point, Ronaldo was seen in the window pleading with the Iranian supporters to keep the noise down.

Morocco's Noureddine Amrabat made clear his feelings at the end of Monday's game as he looked into a television camera and mouthed: "VAR, it's bulls**t".But while Spain's equaliser was correctly given, the decisions in Saransk were more controversial.

Moroccan players bemoan referee Ravshan Irmatov's decision to award Spain a late goal on the basis of video review at the World Cup on June 25.

The question is not if Portugal have the weapons but whether they can be assembled in a way that plays to Ronaldo's strengths at his fourth and likely final World Cup. The icon has scored every goal for Portugal through the first two games. There was minimal contact and Caceres originally waved off a foul.

"I understand, it's normal", he said.

Ronaldo narrowly escaped a red card thanks to further VAR controversy, but the manager admitted that this was not something that he was anxious about during the match.

Going back to the story about my daughter yesterday, I need to know if I am a grandfather or not. "It's a red card".



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