The World Cup in Qatar saw its first red card and first bout of late late drama as Iran scored stoppage time goals through Roozbech Chesmi and Ramin Rezaeian to sink a miserable Wales side in Group B.
Wales were poor and somehow survived until the 90 minute mark, after Iran had a goal disallowed early on and saw two efforts cannon off the woodwork in the second half. But after Wayne Hennessey was sent off for clattering into Iran striker Mehdi Taremi late in the game, the Welsh defence crumbled to a 2-0 defeat, which consigns them to bottom of the group
As for Iran, Carlos Queiroz will have been delighted with his side’s resurgent performance after being beaten 6-2 by England in their opening group contest. See how the action unfolded below with Standard Sport’s live blog, featuring expert analysis from Malik Ouzia at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.
Wales vs Iran key moments
2-0 and FULL TIME
GOAL! Iran win it!
Wales red card!
Iran strike post - twice!
Iran goal disallowed
Wales 0 - 2 Iran
12:23 , Dominic Booth
Here’s a link to our hastily-rewritten match report after that utter madness late in the game.
The headline is that Iran are back alive in Group B, while Wales will need to beat the old enemy England. Those two late strikes and the goalkeeper’s red card will live long in the memory.
12:06 , Dominic Booth
Superb composure from the full back Reiznan who stormed through and chipped in to secure the win for Iran, and it’s nothing less than they deserve.
What an amazing finish to the game, Iran are deserved 2-0 winners.
12:02 , Dominic Booth
They’ve got another! 2-0 Iran, what a dramatic final few minutes this has been!
12:00 , Dominic Booth
98 mins: What a strike and what a moment for Iran – and you have to say they deserve it.
Brilliant hit by Karimi after a poor Allen clearance and it’s absolute bedlam in the stands. Amazing scenes.
11:59 , Dominic Booth
IRAN HAVE WON IT DEEP IN ADDED TIME! OH WOW!
11:57 , Dominic Booth
95 mins: Rezaeian goers into the book, Wales launch it long. Iran storm forward but Jahanbakhsh kicks Mepham and gets a booking himself.
Not very composed from Iran, this.
11:56 , Dominic Booth
94 mins: The quality is lacking from Iran, although Mohammadi is pressing high down the left to pin Wales back.
A goal-kick gives Wales the chance to breathe.
11:55 , Dominic Booth
93 mins: You have to say Wales are coping fairly well at the moment, despite having a man less. James wins a foul in a good area, a free-kick can be sent into the Iran box here.
11:52 , Dominic Booth
Nine added minutes for Wales to hang on, now. It’s all Iran.
3 - Wayne Hennessey is only the third goalkeeper ever to receive a red card at the World Cup, after Itumeleng Khune for South Africa v Uruguay in 2010 and Gianluca Pagliuca for Italy v Norway in 1994. Dismissed. pic.twitter.com/Tpdtc35i9t
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 25, 2022
11:49 , Dominic Booth
87 mins: Danny Ward comes on in goal and Ramsey is sacrificed.
This is going to be a very interesting last few minutes plus added time.
11:47 , Dominic Booth
85 mins: The referee gave a yellow initially but after a VAR check Hennessey is indeed sent off.
He can’t really argue with it. The first red of the tournament.
11:46 , Dominic Booth
84 mins: Oh Ben Davies, that was nearly THE moment. A good save denies the Spurs man after a powerful drive from the edge of the box.
We then have appeals for a red card after Hennessey comes out and clatters Taremi. VAR check time...
11:44 , Dominic Booth
82 mins: A major delay as Ezatolahi gets treatment, so that will mean a hefty chunk of added time. The midfielder is actually being replaced by Karimi.
11:42 , Dominic Booth
80 mins: Tempers are getting a little flared out there, as Wales finally enjoy a bit of possession and territory, not that it’s very threatening.
Heading into the final 10 plus stoppage time.
11:39 , Dominic Booth
77 mins: Torabi is also coming on for Iran. Noorollahi is coming on.
Ampadu is the man replaced by Allen for Wales.
11:37 , Dominic Booth
76mins: Here comes Joe Allen for Wales. Not before time.
Cramp is starting to set in for a few of the Iranian players, and they’re bringing on Jahanbakhsh.
11:35 , Dominic Booth
74 mins: Wales are still battling to even stay in this, Hennessey tips round the drilled shot from Ezatolahi. Another Iran corner. More pressure. Wales on the ropes.
If Wales do end up winning this, they'll have nicked it. Been absolutely dreadful
— Malik Ouzia (@MalikOuzia_) November 25, 2022
Wales can nick it
11:33 , Dominic Booth
72 mins: Don’t bet against it. They’ve got Gareth Bale still on the pitch.
Wales smash and grab incoming here, get your bets in. #FIFAWorldCup
— Dominic Booth (@DomBooth19) November 25, 2022
11:31 , Dominic Booth
71 mins: Wales need a big last 20 minutes plus added time here.
They’re struggling to create anything clearcut. Nothing comes from another Iran corner.
11:30 , Dominic Booth
68 mins: Azmoun does finally come off, the experienced ex Nottingham Forest forward Ansarifard replaces him.
11:29 , Dominic Booth
67 mins: Nice play from Brennan Johnson on the right, but Bale cannot get his shot away, as the door is closed on the former Real Madrid star. Iran scramble it away.
11:28 , Dominic Booth
66 mins: Pouraliganji was asking the referee for a handball just then, and it did look to glance a Welsh hand after the corner was swung in. Would have been a very harsh penalty.
Wales get themselves back on the ball.
11:26 , Malik Ouzia
64 mins: This is going to be an absolutely immense finish to the game. There’s still half-an-hour to go and already there are bodies everywhere, players out on their feet.
11:25 , Dominic Booth
63 mins: A flowing attack from Iran leaves Ampadu on his backside, falling over trying to track his man.
It’s a corner in the end, which Hennessey claims.
11:24 , Dominic Booth
62 mins: Iran looked like they were bringing Ansarifard on, but he puts his bib back on.
11:21 , Dominic Booth
59 mins: A chance for everyone to get their breath back, as play is stopped for Azmoun to get some treatment.
He might not be able to continue here.
11:18 , Dominic Booth
57 mins: After a period of defending ends, Wales can finally make their subs. Wilson and Roberts off, for Johnson and James.
11:18 , Dominic Booth
56 mins: More attacks from Iran and more slices of luck for Wales as they desperately keep them at bay.
11:15 , Dominic Booth
53 mins: Moore nods over for Wales from close range. It’s all happening.
Page is readying Daniel James and Brennan Johnson to come on. His team do need a lift.
11:14 , Dominic Booth
52 mins: It was beautifully played through to Azmoun, whose pace got him away down the inside channel but his effort cannoned back off the upright.
And then Gholizadeh picked it up and curled it left-footed, off the frame off the goal and then Hennessey gobbles up the rebound. Goodness me.
11:13 , Dominic Booth
51 mins: Off the post! And again! That’s a great chance for Iran once again.
Wales are living a charmed existence right now.
11:11 , Dominic Booth
50 mins: Roberts’ cross is hit straight into a white shirt, with Iran continuing to hold firm here.
This feels like a knockout game, such is the tension.
11:09 , Dominic Booth
48 mins: Aaron Ramsey is having an absolute shocker out there. You’d be a brave man to drag him off, but he cannot find a red shirt at the moment. If Joe Allen’s got half-an-hour in the legs he’ll surely be on soon – no point saving him for England, really.
11:08 , Dominic Booth
47 mins: No changes from either manager at half-time, with most of the ground now in shade rather than sunshine. That might take the temperature down a touch, which would suit Wales.
11:05 , Dominic Booth
We’re back under way!
11:02 , Dominic Booth
HT 0-0. Wales have had more of the play but final ball and decision-making has been poor. Look shaky at the back, too, with Iran dangerous. Wales need another big second half upturn.
— Malik Ouzia (@MalikOuzia_) November 25, 2022
10:57 , Dominic Booth
How crucial might that Rodon booking prove to be?
Iran’s forward may well target the on-loan Tottenham centre-back in the second half.
Wales have Joe Allen up their sleeve if they want to bolster their defensive midfield and offer that backline some protection.
First half thoughts
10:54 , Dominic Booth
A really nervy 45 minutes for Wales, that. Not that they didn’t create moments in an attacking sense, Moore’s presence up front has certainly been a plus point for Rob Page’s side.
But they must get a lid on Azmoun and Taremi, who have been really threatening through the middle for Iran, with Joe Rodon and Chris Mepham both struggling. An intriguing second 45 minutes awaits.
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 25, 2022
10:50 , Dominic Booth
The ball bounces dangerous across the Wales six-yard box but Azmoun cannot quite get the decisive touch. It’s another moment for Iran indicative of their approach in this game, so far, as Rodon receives a yellow card for a heavy challenge on Taremi.
Unfortunately for Iran – and luckily from a Welsh standpoint – they’ve not been able to break through. Goalless at the break.
10:46 , Dominic Booth
45 mins: Of course it’s four minutes of added time.
If you were watching on the BBC you may have lost pictures for a minute, just then. I thought it was my dodgy wifi, to be honest.
10:44 , Dominic Booth
43 mins: Hosseini plucked the ball from the corner like he was picking an apple from a tree.
Iran then hoist it towards Taremi and get themselves a throw-in deep in Welsh territory.
10:43 , Dominic Booth
42 mins: Both teams back into their shape as the half draws towards a close (a huge amount of added time notwithstanding).
Wilson’s shot is deflected and Wales get a corner.
10:41 , Dominic Booth
39 mins: Bale out to his old staging post, the left wing, in an attempt to get something going for Wales. He tried to find Moore, then Williams puts a rather aimless ball into the box. Iran are defending well.
10:38 , Dominic Booth
37 mins: Good ball by Wilson to find Williams in space but then the ex Liverpool youngster gets his touch all wrong.
A shame for Wales; that was a good move.
10:37 , Dominic Booth
36 mins: Rodon is being caused no end of problems by the rocket-heeled Azmoun. Someone, throw that man a life belt, he needs help.
Iran are first to every loose ball at the moment, without really having carved out a major opening since the disallowed goal.
10:36 , Dominic Booth
34 mins: Moore commits yet another foul, steaming into the back of Mohammadi.
There’s no way Rob Page will be happy with what he’s seen so far.
10:35 , Dominic Booth
33 mins: If you’re an England fan watching this, having seen the Three Lions dismantle Iran, you wouldn’t be particularly worried by the prospect of facing Wales in the third group game.
A draw in this one massively benefits USA, though.
10:33 , Dominic Booth
31 mins: Finally, a set piece opportunity for Wales, with Moore likely to be a threat here.
It’s sent in from the right by Ramsey but easily cleared and then Wales are on the backpeddle.
10:31 , Dominic Booth
29 mins: Bale gets a half yard of space but his shot isn’t winning any awards, this time.
10:29 , Dominic Booth
27 mins: Finally, a bit of a lull in what has been a chaotic start to the game. Neither side have had much control but Wales have looked more vulnerable than you’d like and haven’t really threatened beyond that Moore chance.
10:28 , Dominic Booth
26 mins: Iran’s physical approach is definitely worrying Wales right now.
Azmoun continues to run directly at Rodon, as Williams wants a foul as he’s bundled into touch. Nothing doing.
10:24 , Dominic Booth
23 mins: Iran send in a free-kick deep into Welsh territory and it’s headed goalwards by Azmoun, but well wide.
10:21 , Dominic Booth
20 mins: Iran are a real threat every time they go forward. Ben Davies slides in to save Wales this time.
All action, this game.
10:21 , Dominic Booth
18 mins: The Welsh fans get behind their team as Harry Wilson prepares to take a free-kick. They know their side needs a lift. The keeper punches clear and Iran can regroup.
10:17 , Dominic Booth
16 mins: Wales are compeltely cut apart! Shambolic at the back and it’s 1-0 Iran. Wow!
No, it’s chalked off for offside, a major let off for Connor Roberts whose mistake allowed Gholizadeh to round the keeper and score. The technology shows it was rightly ruled out by VAR.
10:13 , Dominic Booth
12 mins: A quieter period in the game as Wales get their feet on the ball. Ampadu seeing plenty of it, but no real penetration – not through the middle anyway. Ramsey is drifting over to the right flank a lot, to get a few touches.
Hosseini produces a smart stop from a good volley by Moore, with the striker going down with a knock afterwards.
10:11 , Dominic Booth
9 mins: Taremi and Azmoun together up front for Iran are a problem. Nice to see a team using the old school 4-4-2, which is exactly what Queiroz has done today.
10:09 , Dominic Booth
8 mins: A tame shot by Azmoun after Wales concede possession cheaprly in their own half.
Moore then finds space down the channel to get his team forward, but runs it out of play, much to the Bournemouth player’s chagrin.
10:08 , Dominic Booth
6 mins: A couple of dangerous crosses put into the box by Iran, Mohammadi’s was particularly good, but Wales defend it well.
10:07 , Dominic Booth
5 mins: It’s already a more open game that many of the first round group fixtures, a product of both teams needing more than a point to qualify.
Iran are getting it forward quite quickly when given the opportunity.
10:04 , Dominic Booth
3 mins: That’s a decent hit by Neco Williams, the right-footed left-back cutting inside and curling towards goal from all of 25 yards.
Over the bar.
10:03 , Dominic Booth
2 mins: Yep, a huge number of empty seats in the ground for this one, as we’re off to a fairly scrappy start.
10:01 , Dominic Booth
Right, let’s go!
09:53 , Dominic Booth
Less than 10 minutes until kick off now. We’ll shortly have the teams out, the anthems (watch out for that trademark Welsh passion) and then we’ll be off and running.
Even by this World Cup’s pretty poor standards, there are staggering numbers of empty seats around as the teams emerge for the anthems.
All eyes on Azmoun
09:47 , Malik Ouzia
Sardar Azmoun is the rockstar of Iranian football and after struggling with injury in the build-up to the England game, was only fit enough for a place on the pitch. The Bayer Leverkusen man is in from the start today though as one of five changes from Carlos Queiroz and his name got by some margin the biggest ovation when the teams were read out just now.
09:39 , Dominic Booth
Some match and Group B odds for you here courtesy of Betfair with both these two teams in desperate need of a victory today.
Betfair: Wales vs Iran match odds
Betfair: To qualify from Group B
09:26 , Dominic Booth
Our man on the ground Malik Ouzia is in place at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.
The big’un for Wales. Probably a must-win. Very hot day, air-con doing bits up here but suspect it’s cooking down there in the sun. pic.twitter.com/K3svYRpneK
— Malik Ouzia (@MalikOuzia_) November 25, 2022
09:09 , Dominic Booth
Right, building towards kick off in Qatar and it’s set to be another really busy day of World Cup action. As well as this 10am (GMT) kick off, we have England versus USA at 7pm in the same group. Standard Sport will also have live coverage of:
Qatar vs Senegal (1pm GMT)
Netherlands vs Ecuador (4pm GMT)
Cancel your plans and settle yourself in.
Iran team news
08:53 , Dominic Booth
Here’s the lineup Carlos Queiroz has named...
Hosseini; Rezaeian, Pouraliganji, Hosseini, Mohammadi; Gholizadeh, Nourollahi, Ezatollahi, Hajsafi; Azmoun, Taremi.
08:48 , Dominic Booth
No real surprises in that Wales lineup, in truth. As harsh as it may be on Fulham winger James, Rob Page’s side were simply more effective with Moore.
They’ll be boosted by the presence of ultra-experienced Joe Allen on the bench after injury.
Wales team news
08:42 , Dominic Booth
The Wales XI has dropped earlier than expected! One change from the side that played USA, as Kieffer Moore replaces Daniel James, as expected. Joe Allen is among the substitutes.
Hennessey; Mepham, Rodon, B Davies; Roberts, Ampadu, Ramsey, Wilson, N Williams; Bale (C), Moore.
— Wales 🏴 (@Cymru) November 25, 2022
Bale in the house
08:40 , Dominic Booth
The Wales squad have arrived and they look like they mean business.
08:30 , Dominic Booth
As ever in Doha, it’s a swelteringly hot day, with Ahmad bin Ali Stadium bathed in sunshine ahead of the 1pm kick off local time (10am GMT).
— Ian Mitchelmore (@IanMitchelmore) November 25, 2022
All eyes on Kieffer Moore
08:20 , Dominic Booth
Many critics dubbed Rob Page’s decision to leave Bournemouth striker Kieffer Moore on the bench against the USA a mistake – and it certainly proved a masterstroke bringing him off the bench for the second half, as Wales recovered from 1-0 down to draw.
Moore, who pre-tournament said “it would be amazing” to put the England, country of his birth out of the tournament, is a handful for defenders and is very likely to start today. He’s a useful focal point for this Welsh side.
08:09 , Dominic Booth
Catch all Standard Sport’s predictions, as well as latest odds, team news and an insight into both teams in our Wales versus Iran preview here.
It’s going to be another busy day in the World Cup, especially in Group B with England and USA in action later this evening, too.
Wales vs Iran predicted lineups
07:52 , George Flood
Here is how Standard Sport expects both sides to line up in Al Rayyan this morning...
Wales predicted XI: Hennessey; Mepham, Rodon, Davies; Roberts, Allen, Ampadu, Williams; James, Bale; Moore
Iran predicted XI: H.Hosseini; Moharrami, Pouraliganji, Cheshmi, M.Hosseini, Mohammadi; Jakanbakhsh, Noorollahi, Karimi, Gholizadeh; Taremi
Wales vs Iran prediction
07:48 , George Flood
Considering just how poorly Iran defended against England on Monday, Wales duo Kieffer Moore and Gareth Bale should feel very confident of causing problems.
Wales to win, 2-1.
Iran team news
07:46 , George Flood
Iran are without first-choice goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand for today’s contest.
He suffered a concussion and broken nose during a nasty collision with a team-mate during England’s thumping 6-2 win in Doha on Monday.
Beiranvand was somehow allowed to play on briefly before going down again and being substituted, provoking a wave of criticism including from leading brain injury charity Headway, who described it as an “utter disgrace”.
It hardly showed much faith in back-up goalie Hossein Hosseini, who is set to deputise today.
“There is medical protocol we need to respect and there is no way to move around the protocol, so he will not play,” Iran coach Carlos Queiroz said of Beiranvand at his pre-match press conference yesterday.
Wales team news
07:41 , George Flood
Wales have been boosted today by the return to fitness of Joe Allen.
The Swansea midfielder missed that 1-1 draw with the USA at this same stadium due to a hamstring injury that has kept him sidelined for the last two months.
However, Allen is now back in contention against Iran, though it remains to be seen if he’s fit enough to start after such a lay-off.
Wales have no other known injury issues aside from a few “tired bodies”, with Kieffer Moore surely set to join Gareth Bale in attack after his accomplished second-half performance that changed the game on Monday and offered his side a crucial focal point going forward.
Where to watch Wales vs Iran
07:38 , George Flood
TV channel: Today’s game will be broadcast live free-to-air on BBC One and Welsh language channel S4C in the UK.
Live stream: The BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website and S4C online (all free with a subscription) will all offer live streams for fans online, meanwhile.
Welcome to Wales vs Iran LIVE coverage!
07:36 , George Flood
Good morning and welcome to Standard Sport’s LIVE coverage of a crucial World Cup morning for Wales.
A win against Iran in Al Rayyan today would give Rob Page’s side a huge chance of qualifying for the last-16 on their first appearance at this level since 1958 following Monday’s battling comeback draw with the USA.
However, anything less than three points would be tough to take for Gareth Bale and Co, with the small matter of a showdown with old rivals England looming large in Group B on Tuesday evening.
Kick-off today is at 10am GMT, so follow live updates right here with Standard Sport, featuring expert analysis from Malik Ouzia at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium.
Before then we’ll have match build-up, all the latest team news and much more.