Last-minute own goal is first World Cup devastation

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Morocco striker Aziz Bouhaddouz became an unlikely favorite in Iran, scoring the injury-time own-goal that settled a tight and tense game.

A late own goal handed Iran their second win in World Cup history as they defeated Morocco 1-0 at the Krestovsky Stadium on Friday evening.

Over the course of the game, both teams had numerous chances to score, but sloppy finishing coupled with last-ditch defending meant the scoreline was deadlocked until the very end of the match.

The match was intriguing from kickoff, as it pitted a very hard Iran defence which were very rarely beaten in qualifying against a Morocco team who had flair and attacking intent on their side.

Carlos Queiroz said Iran may have won their World Cup "final" against Morocco on Friday but he already has his sights set on a "Universe Cup final" against Spain.

Iran and Morocco are in Group B alongside Spain and Portugal.

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Russian Federation gave an impressive showing in front of Putin despite being the lowest ranked team in the tournament. The tempo slowed and the atmosphere flattened after the restart, giving the whole thing the feel of a friendly match.

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That Afghans play cricket at all-and play it with skill and panache-is due entirely to the war that Moscow thrust upon them. He congratulated Afghanistan on becoming a full Test team and further wished to see them perform in several other sports.

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"A new billboard just went up in Tehran's busy Valiasr Square to welcome the World Cup, and most importantly, let #TeamMelli know that they have the full support of the Iranian nation".

Iran face Spain in their next Group B match on June 20, before playing Portugal five days later. They are just football players.

"We come here without World Cup preparations".

Offering a rare glimpse of the president without his traditional tunic and turban, the images showed Rouhani watching the game, ecstatic at Iran's own-goal win over the North African side.

However, Iran will be celebrating through the night as they got their Russian Federation 2018 campaign off to a flawless start and, in the process, notched only their second win in the World Cup.

"My players are down, but we can only blame ourselves", was all Morocco coach Herve Renard could say.

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