Iran player ratings as Mehdi Taremi misses shot to make history after fatal Portugal draw

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Iran came up just short in their quest to make World Cup 2018’s round of 16 with a scrappy 1-1 draw against Portugal in Group B.

Team Melli needed victory to make the knockouts for the first time and came close to achieving it at Mordovia Arena.

Ricardo Quaresma, 34, produced a trademark curled ‘trivela’ strike on the stroke of half-time to hand Portugal the lead in this feisty contest.

Cristiano Ronaldo endured a mixed night with the Video Assistant Referee. He saw a spot-kick saved after being belatedly awarded it for a foul by centre-back Morteza Pouraliganji, before later receiving a yellow card after apparently striking the same opponent.

VAR then punished Portugal right-back Cedric Soares for a handball. Karim Ansarifard’s subsequent 93rd-minute penalty gave hope, only for Mehdi Taremi’s frustrating blast into the side netting to snub it out.

The result saw Portugal finish second behind Spain in their pool. They’ll now meet Group A-winners Uruguay.

Here are our Iran ratings:

IRAN (4-1-4-1)

Alireza Beiranvand – 7: Was all at sea in the opening stages, almost gifting Portugal an opener. Made up for this with Ronaldo penalty save.

Ramin Rezaeian – 7: Made it an uncomfortable evening for Internazionale-owned midfielder Joao Mario. Has performed well throughout the World Cup.

Morteza Pouraliganji – 6: Had a pitch battle throughout the evening with Ronaldo. Did well for most of game, but gave away penalty for clumsy barge.

Majid Hosseini – 7: Another Iran defender who can feel proud of his efforts keeping the legendary Ronaldo quiet at Mordovia Arena.

Ehsan Hajsafi – 5: For such an experienced defender, he played on the verge of losing his composure. Not good enough for this type of match.

Saeid Ezatolahi – 7: Enjoyed a pitch battle with Carvalho to gain influence in the middle of the park. Central to Iran’s impressive defensive shape.

Alireza Jahanbakhsh – 5: His wonderful domestic form for AZ Alkmaar has not been replicated at World Cup 2018. Taken off pretty early.

Omid Ebrahimi – 7: Dropped back into the holding role when Ezatolahi was sacrificed for goalscorer Ansarifard. Made a positive impact in that position.

Vahid Amiri – 6: The Persepolis winger was more of a presence defensively, than offensively. Symbolises head coach Carlos Queiroz’s warrior spirit.

Mehdi Taremi – 5: Chance to make history dropped at the striker’s feet in the final throes, but he hit the side netting. A critical error.

Sardar Azmoun – 6: Was unable to notch in all three pool matches. But he kept Portugal’s season defenders busy and won penalty with headed knockdown.

SUBS

Milad Mohammadi – 6: There were no ridiculous failed throw-in attempts from the full-back this time.

Saman Ghoddos – 6: Made one poor cross in the final moments. Not what Queiroz required.

Karim Ansarifard – 6: Held his nerve in clutch moment and emphatically converted spot-kick.

Most popular

Portugal player ratings as Jose Fonte stands tall and Cristiano Ronaldo has mixed night in Iran draw

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Cristiano Ronaldo missed a second-half penalty but Ricardo Quaresma’s wonder goal was enough to ultimately earn Portugal a 1-1 draw against Iran to make World Cup 2018’s round of 16.

Quaresma, 34, produced a trademark curled ‘trivela’ strike on the stroke of half-time to gain the lead in this feisty contest.

Ronaldo endured a mixed night with the Video Assistant Referee. He saw a spot-kick saved after being belatedly awarded it for a foul by centre-back Morteza Pouraliganji, before later receiving a yellow card after apparently striking the same opponent.

VAR then punished Portugal right-back Cedric Soares for a handball. Karim Ansarifard’s subsequent 93rd-minute penalty came too deep into injury time for an Iran, who needed victory to make their knockouts bow.

The result saw Portugal finish second behind Spain in their pool. They’ll now meet Group A-winners Uruguay.

Here are the Portugal player ratings from Mordovia Arena:

PORTUGAL (4-4-2)

Rui Patricio – 6: Took a blow to the face in the first half when he bravely snuffed out a promising position for Iran. Couldn’t get near excellent penalty.

Cedric Soares – 6: Kept it simple before he was punished, probably harshly, for a handball under an aerial challenge by Iran striker Sardar Azmoun.

Pepe – 7: Even at 35-years old, the Besiktas centre-back is still so key. Surprisingly, kept his head when Iran, collectively, lost theirs.

Jose Fonte – 7: The Dalian Yifang defender was superb on the deck, beating Azmoun repeatedly to the ball. So comfortable at this level.

Raphael Guerreiro – 6: Exorcised the painful memories from his nightmare against Morocco. Alireza Jahanbakhsh is not easy to subdue.

Ricardo Quaresma – 7: A contender for goal of the tournament exploded off his right boot. But didn’t press his case further to remain in the starting line-up.

Adrien Silva – 7: The Leicester City centre midfielder filled in admirably for the ill Joao Moutinho. Wonderful flick added to Quaresma’s magic moment.

William Carvalho – 7: Was bypassed regularly by Morocco, but was back to his solid self against the Iranians. Rarely flustered.

Joao Mario – 5: Volleyed a presentable chance over in the first half. Was far too quiet and his spot in XI for knockouts can’t be certain.

Andre Silva – 6: The prolific scorer in qualifying, and surprise flop at AC Milan, did a lot of running for Ronaldo. Just about justified his start.

Cristiano Ronaldo – 5: Joined nemesis Lionel Messi in missing a penalty at World Cup 2018. Was otherwise fairly anonymous, apart from surviving VAR call for a potential blow on Pouraliganji.

SUBS

Bernardo Silva – 6: The Manchester City winger was given 20 minutes to make up for a dull start to the World Cup. Didn’t really get involved.

Joao Moutinho – N/A: Was well enough to see out the final moments.

Goncalo Guedes – N/A: Head coach Fernando Santos threw forward on in final throes to see down clock.

Most popular

Jorge Sampaoli must finally shape up for Argentina and other tactical battles against Nigeria

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Embattled Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli requires a moment of clarity and Nigeria must continue their winning run when Group D reaches a consequential crescendo at World Cup 2018.

Here are the key tactical battles ahead of this decisive contest at Saint Petersburg Stadium:

SAMPAOLI’S LATEST CHANGE OF SHAPE

Argentina head coach Jorge Sampaoli will feel a sense of relief that he’s been allowed this final shot at redemption.

The 58-year-old’s troubled opening year at the helm has taken a dark turn for the worse in Russia. An ill-suited 4-2-3-1 formation led to a dire 1-1 draw versus Iceland, while a misguided switch to a 3-4-2-1 contributed to the limp 3-0 loss against Croatia.

Leaks to the Argentine media now state that a 4-4-2 will be unleashed against the Super Eagles, with struggling Barcelona icon Lionel Messi partnered with Juventus centre forward Gonzalo Higuain.

This is the shape Messi used to title-winning effect at Barcelona in 2017/18. Sampaoli will pray it has the same impact.

FBL-WC-2018-ARG-PRESSER

WILL NIGERIA ROHR FROM THE OFF?

A fourth slot in the round of 16 is within Nigeria’s grasp. The challenge for boss Gernot Rohr is to make sure it doesn’t slip away.

The 4-2-3-1 in Russia has brought a dull 2-0 defeat to Croatia and enlivening 2-0 victory against Iceland.

The German will earn his money by deciding whether to continue in the same vein, or face down Argentina’s star-studded – but misfiring – attack with a 3-5-2. A memorable, Alex Iwobi-inspired 4-2 friendly win was earned with this shape against La Albiceleste at the end of 2017.

Just a draw will do for Nigeria, but defence isn’t a strength. But they last kept a clean sheet in March’s 1-0 friendly win versus Poland.

FBL-WC-2018-NGR-TRAINING

SUPER EAGLES SHOULD LET IWOBI FLY

Consistency is the missing ingredient at Arsenal and Nigeria for Alex Iwobi.

The nephew of former Super Eagles magician Jay-Jay Okocha started the opening loss to Croatia on the right wing, being hauled off after 62 forgettable minutes that contained three off-target attempts and one key pass. Rohr remembered this flop and restricted him to an insignificant 90th-minute cameo role against Iceland.

But if the tactician switches his mind back to the winter, sights of Iwobi getting a key double up top in a 3-5-2 against Argentina will flood his mind.

Being the centre of attention appears to bring out Iwobi’s best.

Argentina v Nigeria - International Friendly

Most popular