Portugal to lock horns with Iran for Last-16-English

Iran and Portugal will be squaring off against each other for their final World Cup fixture of the group stage at the Mordovia Arena on Monday.

This will not be an easy game for Portugal and they will have to raise their performance from the Morocco game. Iran and Queiroz are clever competitors and will test Portugal, but one would expect Cristiano Ronaldo to take advantage when Iran have to leave spaces and attack as the game progresses.

Iran can count themselves fortunate to be in this situation after a last-gasp own-goal handed them a 1-0 victory over Morocco, who deserved at least a point from their Group B opener.

Carlos Queiroz’s side took confidence from that result to limit Spain to just one goal in a 1-0 defeat, leaving them just one point behind the Iberian neighbours on four each.

Iran could eliminate Portugal from the World Cup with a win. But if Spain loses to Morocco, Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal could advance even in defeat.

Queiroz knows Ronaldo well from their time together at Manchester United and the national team. Given his form, the 65-year-old is aware of the mammoth task facing the Iranians in Saransk.

The two teams have faced each other at the World Cup once before. That was in the Germany 2006 group stage, with Portugal running out 2-0 winners and a certain youngster by the name of Cristiano Ronaldo getting the second goal.

The Real Madrid forward has well and truly come of age since then and is now the team’s captain. He is the only current squad member on either side to have featured in that game. Iran’s Masoud Shojaei was also at the tournament, but did not play that day.

Content source