Faced with elimination if they lose, Iran are on the brink of recognition from a side that was beaten 6-2 by England in the opening round.
Doha, Qatar – Iran scored twice late on to seal a stunning 2-0 win over Wales that breathed new life into their World Cup campaign.
Faced with relegation if they lose, Iran were on the brink of recognition from a side beaten 6-2 by England in the opening round, and were deserved winners, even if they conceded so late on.
The win keeps Iran on three points in Group B, two ahead of Wales – who were held 1-1 by the United States in their opener – with England and the US facing each other later on Friday. The group comes to a head next Tuesday, when Wales play their old rivals and Iran take on the US.
This is what the Iranian supporters at the match at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Doha had to say:
Rana Mahmudi, 27, and husband Farzad Fardin, 30:
“We are very happy with today’s victory. There was no goal until the 90th minute. We were worried and disappointed, but thank God, we won in the last minute, we hope to win 5-0 against the US. “
Syed Tagi Hussani, 66, and Syed Abas Hussani, 43, his son:
“We knew we were going to win today, but we’re hoping for a big win against the United States.”
Hamed Rameanzane, 32:
“We lost our first game very badly. Coming into the game today, I was expecting an easy win but Wales played very well. I would be sad if we lost again today. But I am proud of the Iranian team, we managed to win. It was not an easy victory I must say. “
Masood Khoram, 34:
“Our players were stressed from the start of the game. I personally believe that the coach does not allow good players to play. I don’t know why, he might have other plans for them.
“But I believe that the selection of players was not good in our first game even today. We won at the last minute. It was not such a big success. I hope that in future matches the coach will allow other players from this team to play.”
“The whole of Iran knows that we should have done better in the opener – 6-2 is not what Iran is about. Every time I think about that game, my heart breaks. I am very happy but I expected a 6-0 win today, we deserve more, Iran deserves more.
“We have to win the American games and we will go to the finals without a doubt. We will prove it to the world.
“We lost the first game for many reasons, our goalkeeper was injured in the first few minutes, the fans were disappointed, everything bad happened that day. The team was under pressure with the first two goals and then they let the other goals come easily.”