Watch: Iran fans celebrate in Tehran after 1-0 win against Morocco in World Cup

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Historic: Iran players celebrate

Iran left it very late but they managed to win their first World Cup match in 20 years when they defeated Morocco 1-0 on Friday night.

Substitute Aziz Bouhaddouz scored an own goal in stoppage time to give Iran only their second triumph in World Cup history.

After the full-time whistle in Russia, Iranian fans took to the streets in Tehran to celebrate the victory.

Watch how they celebrated in the video below:

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Fortune favours France as VAR and own goal seals Les Bleus victory

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Heavily-fancied France left it late to secure a 2-1 victory over Australia in their Group C opener at Kazan Area in Tatarstan on Saturday.

Didier Deschamps’ men were frustrated for large parts of the contest in a match which will ultimately be remembered for the first VAR decision in the history of World Cup football.

Antoine Griezmann put France 1-0 up from the penalty spot on 58 minutes after VAR had been used following a tackle from Josh Risdon on the Atletico Madrid star.

The striker dispatched the opportunity before the Baggy Green levelled things up with a penalty of their own, three minutes and seven seconds later, through Mile Jedinak. Samuel Umtiti and his flailing right-arm was the guilty part there.

Australia full-back Aziz Behich then inadvertently deflected Paul Pogba’s effort into his own net with just a few minutes remaining.

Here, we look at the key talking points from the fixture.

VAR does its job as football history is made

The first use of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system in the World Cup went ahead without a hitch.

It would have been music to the ears of FIFA hierarchy to see technology do its job and not create any unwelcome headlines.

Some may argue Uruguayan referee Andres Cunha’s decision to halt play and review Antoine Griezmann’s surge into the penalty box, where he was brought down by defender Josh Ridson, was harsh. But, ultimately, there was contact – however slight – and the referee rightly felt that reviewing the decision with the help of VAR was the right call having not initially given the spot-kick.

He had every right to consult the officials, watch a pitchside video review and bring back the play after receiving assurances from VAR.

The law of VAR technology as a whole was introduced with differing opinions but the principle reasoning for its inclusion into the “Beautiful Game” was to correct “game-changing” decisions. Indeed, the type of calls where World Cup games are won and lost.

This was clearly one of those moments and Griezmann showed tremendous poise to keep his composure and stick away the resulting penalty.

The fact such a high-profile incident like this has happened so early on will have settled a few nerves in the officials’ video booth in Moscow.

Does it though spoil the fun, the drama, the human side of the game? Yes, to an extent, but when VAR works in your team’s favour, you’re not complaining.

KAZAN, RUSSIA - JUNE 16: Mile Jedinak of Australia confronts referee Andres Cunha after he awards a penalty during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group C match between France and Australia at Kazan Arena on June 16, 2018 in Kazan, Russia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Mile Jedinak confronts referee Andres Cunha.

Australia deserve praise for fighting spirit

The Australians can count themselves unfortunate to have been on the receiving end of a match-defining VAR decision.

In the end, there is every reason to believe it was the right decision but still, they will feel hard done by by the manner of the incident.

Managed by Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk for the first time in a competitive match, initially, the men from Down Under found the going tough but eased into the game with some crunching challenges and roughed France up, committing 19 fouls.

Although their forward play was limited, Australia’s performance was dogged enough with 23 tackles being proof of that.

When you are limited as a side in terms of creativity, pace and ingenuity on a football pitch, play to the strengths you do have. Australia did that with their set-piece situations.

Aaron Mooy, the one man in a yellow shirt who looked capable of making something happen, executed a free-kick opportunity from the right with aplomb, forcing Umtiti into a desperate handball.

Veteran Jedinak showed all his composure to prove his worth in the side from 12 yards.

Losing the game so late was a real sickener but a sign of a lack of inexperience and lack of awareness to not sit deep and get men behind the ball when France were attacking.

The World Cup is a harsh place for lessons to be learned.

With Denmark to come next Thursday and then a final day fixture against Peru, they shouldn’t be ruled out just yet.

TOPSHOT - Australia's midfielder Aaron Mooy (R) tackles France's forward Kylian Mbappe during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group C football match between France and Australia at the Kazan Arena in Kazan on June 16, 2018. (Photo by Luis Acosta / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO MOBILE PUSH ALERTS/DOWNLOADS (Photo credit should read LUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images)

Aaron Mooy was a force for Australia.

Bright signs for the French, but plenty of work to do

You have to admire Deschamps’ bravery. The French boss pretty much ripped up Les Bleus’ entire plans before the opener, ditching his favoured 4-4-2 formation for a 4-3-1-2.

Designed to make the most out of Paul Pogba and fit Mbappe-Griezmann-Dembele into one line-up, France used full-backs Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard early on, but the rigidness of N’Golo Kante and Corentin Tolisso undid the attacking instincts he was looking for.

Griezmann, who was deployed in a deeper No.10 role, didn’t look totally comfortable and seemed a bit out-of-sync not being the main focal point of the side. Indeed, he was far from his usual self when bursting through the middle to win the resulting penalty.

Fresh legs were needed when Nabil Fekir and Olivier Giroud were introduced for Ousmane Dembele and Griezmann with twenty minutes to go. The Atleti hitman was unlucky to be hooked in a series of managerial calls in which left those watching bemused.

Between now and Peru next Thursday, Deschamps has plenty of work to do with his side on the training ground.

France's coach Didier Deschamps (L) takes France's forward Antoine Griezmann's hand during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group C football match between France and Australia at the Kazan Arena in Kazan on June 16, 2018. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO MOBILE PUSH ALERTS/DOWNLOADS (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

Work to do: Deschamps.

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Aaron Mooy gets an 8 as Australia test heavyweights France in Group C World Cup opener

Alex Broun 16/06/2018
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Aaron Mooy was not overawed by the France super stars.

An impressive performance from Australia, set-up superbly by coach Bert van Marwijk, the Socceroos worked non-stop in the Kazan sunshine and were unlucky not to grab a share of the points.

In the end they lost out to a Paul Pogba toe-poke that ballooned up over Matt Ryan off Aziz Behich’s boot and into the net.

Here are our player ratings for the hardworking Australians:

Matt Ryan – 7: Was not at fault for either goal with Griezmann’s penalty smashed into the right corner and Pogba’s strike an unlucky deflection, did well to clean up a loose back pass from Leckie on 66 minutes

Josh Risdon – 7: Unlucky to give away the penalty with a foul on Griezmann, apart from that worked hard and kept Mbappe fairly quiet, stepped up on the big stage with four tackles

Trent Sainsbury – 8: Van Marwijk pulled a late change with Jedinak re-taking the captain’s armband but Sainsbury still stood tall in the middle of the Australian back four

Mark Milligan – 8: The Aussie veteran was outstanding against the star-studded France front three, a game high 87 touches as Australia used his steadying influence

Aziz Behich – 7: Did a job on Dembele and also tried to get forward with one attempt on goal, unlucky to deflect Pogba’s shot into the net

Mile Jedinak – 8: A surprise starter, captain courageous took the penalty with an ice-cool finish, stood tall in the middle of the park

Aaron Mooy – 8: Close to best on ground, the midfielder was in everything with a game high 5 tackles, 79 touches and 58 passes

Mathew Leckie – 8: Among Australia’s best and much of the Socceroos spark in attack started with him, ready to take on the France defenders and three shots on goal

Robbie Kruse – 7: Worked hard on the left and tracked back well to cover Mbappe, five tackles and an 80% pass accuracy

Tom Rogic – 6: Guilty of over-playing his hand at times in an effort to make his mark on the match, lost the ball three times but game high 93% accuracy rate in passing for Socceroos, replaced on 70 minutes

Andrew Nabbout- 6: Substituted on 60 minutes, tried hard but found the going tough with little service against the quality France back line

Substitutes:

Tomi Juric – 5: Came on for Nabbout but posed little threat to the France back four, Tim Cahill may have been a better option

Jordan Irvine – 6: Replaced Rogic with 18 minutes left to try and spark something up front but could not find Juric with a killer pass

Daniel Arzani – 7: Only given six minutes by Van Marwijk but made an impression creating a chance late on with a clever key pass

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