Late own goal dents Morocco's hopes for bright start
An Aziz Bouhaddouz late own goal gifted Iran an important win 1-0 in a Group B encounter at the World Cup on June 15th. Morocco was making another appearance on the World stage after a spell of 20 years.
It was set to end 0-0 before the late drama that saw Morocco sink in a dramatic manner and Iran will head to the next match against Spain with vital three points. Ehsan Hajsafi curled in a free kick from the left wing which Bouhaddouz unsuccessfully tried to clear but the ball ended in his own net.
Munir Mohamedi, Morocco's keeper had made a double save that denied Sardar Azmoun and Alirez a Jahanbakhsh follow up while Iran's opposite number Alireza Beiranvand had to be cautious his touch denied Hakim Ziyech after the midfielder had sent a low drive.
Iran wildly celebrated the goal in a game that they appeared overpowered for a long period. Morocco extended their bad history of never winning an opening game in the tournament although they created numerous chances that were never converted in either side of half-time.
A counter-attacking by Karim Ansarifard and Sardar Azmoun failed to bore Iran any goal until an error by Bouhaddouz made their wastefulness irrelevant.
Bouhaddouz had come on as a substitute in the 77th minute and his 95th-minute mistake meant the North Africa nation had little time to respond and at least get a goal. Morocco will now face Portugal with no point and a goal, and that just shows the daunting task that awaits them ahead.
1 - Aziz Bouhaddouz is the first substitute to score an own goal in a World Cup match since Petit for Portugal against Germany in July 2006. Nightmare. #MARIRN #MAR #IRN #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/pZ6uL5mIFZ— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 15, 2018