Spain and Portugal reach World Cup knockout round

Clyde Nash
June 26, 2018

Mehdi Taremi wasted a gilt-edged chance after Karim Ansarifard's penalty had thrown Iran a lifeline, but Portugal survived with a 1-1 draw to make the World Cup last 16 despite Cristiano Ronaldo's missed spot-kick in a match dominated by VAR.

With a late Iran goal seeing them hold Portugal 1-1, Spain and Portugal ended up level on five points in first and second place respectively, with goals scored putting the former ahead.

Portugal were left to rue the missed penalty by their most prolific scorer in the 53rd minute after Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand pulled off a heroic save to deny them a 2-0 lead.

Hierro, having succeeded the sacked, Real Madrid-bound Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the tournament, has overseen a 3-3 draw with Portugal, a 1-0 win over Iran, and now this result.

"Overall, I'm happy we finished top of the group, which is what we wanted".

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"Obviously we can improve and there are things that definitely need to be worked on".

Elimination for Spain would be its second straight group stage exit.

If Iran defeats Portugal in its final game, it will advance.

"I'm going to repeat that our initial goal was to be at the top of the group and we've reached that goal".

"We know the difficulties we're going to have against Uruguay".

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If both Portugal and Spain win, the victor of the group comes down to goal differential. This World Cup has now gone past the record for 18 penalties awarded, shared by 1990, 1998 and 2002, and there are still 28 matches to be played after Monday.

"We will definitely be self-critical - (conceding) five goals in three matches is not the way forward, and it's what I've told my players". "We had a big chance at the end of the game, we could have scored and won it".

At about noon on Monday Portugal players had a quick walk around the hotel, but it is uncertain whether they will walk around the city as they did before other matches in Russian Federation.

"These are different circumstance of course, the hosts have huge support and they've had a very good tournament, while Uruguay has high quality and top-notch players and they're all excellent - but Portugal too".

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Other reports by Info About Network

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