Published: Mon, June 18, 2018
Sport | By Patty Hardy

Queiroz ready for 'Universe Cup final' against Spain

Queiroz ready for 'Universe Cup final' against Spain

Gimenez rose perfectly to meet a Carlos Sanchez free kick and score the goal that broke a 48-year Uruguayan "curse" of failing to win in the opening game of the World Cup finals.

Iran's win over Morocco was a nice moment for the team, but if it wasn't for a Moroccan miscue, Iran would only have one point and be on level terms with Spain coming into this one. In the opener for both teams, the match looked destined for a draw in what was an entertaining and open game, but Aziz Bouhaddouz came on in the second half, tried to defend a late set piece and headed it into his own net.

The Iranian skipper had also called on Rouhani to lift the nationwide stadium ban on women after they qualified for Fifa World Cup in 2017.

"This was not a miracle".

Iran's preparations have been disrupted by United States sanctions against the country, with American sportswear giant Nike refusing to supply equipment to the team and both Greece and Kosovo cancelling friendly matches against them last month.

"What Nike did to us was very wrong", forward Karim Ansarifard told ESPN.

"It's the worst thing that could have happened in added time".

As the Iranian fans celebrated the victory at the Saint Petersburg Stadium, they also sent a message back home by unfurling a banner that protested against the decision by their government to ban women from attending football matches in Iran.

"We do not allow these problems to become justifications, excuses", Queiroz said, a day before Iran opens play in Group B with a match against Morocco in St. Petersburg. The reason for the commotion was not immediately clear, as three stewards moved across to where the banner was on the bottom row near to one of the goals.

The Iranian players will face the 2010 FIFA World Champion, Spain, on June 20.

"After so many years in this business, the first game of a World Cup is always hard and tough and this was no different - but it was also handsome", Iran coach Queiroz said of the country's second-ever World Cup win.

Jose Gimenez scored the winning goal for Uruguay with a brilliant header in 89th minute of the match.

Morocco started quickly again as play restarted, but Iran regained control of the match through forceful means, racking up a yellow card just two minutes into the half.

Like this: