Iran dominates 10-man Wales; USMNT clashes with England


The 2022 World Cup has reached the second round of group stage games.

And Black Friday will feature one of the tournament’s most-anticipated showdowns, when the United States takes on England. This will be the two teams’ first World Cup matchup since 2010, when they played to a 1-1 tie.

The young and talented Americans played to a 1-1 tie in their World Cup opener against Wales on Monday. The USMNT faces a tall task Friday against an England team that has its sights set far beyond the group stage.

On Thursday, tournament favorites Brazil earned a 2-0 win over Serbia thanks to the goal of the World Cup so far by Richarlison. Cristiano Ronaldo made history by becoming the first men’s player to score a goal in five different World Cups.

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Tim Weah of the United States participates in a training session on the eve of the Group B match against England at Al-Gharafa SC Stadium, in Doha, Qatar.

In the stands, Iran government supporters confront protesters 

Iran’s political turmoil cast a shadow also over Iran’s second match at the World Cup on Friday, with pro-government fans harassing anti-government fans outside the stadium in Qatar.

Some Iran fans confiscated Persian pre-revolutionary Iranian flags from supporters entering the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium and shouted insults at those wearing shirts with the slogan of the country’s protest movement, “Woman, Life, Freedom.”

Small mobs of men angrily chanted “The Islamic Republic of Iran” at women giving interviews about the protests to foreign media outside the stadium.

Shouting matches erupted outside the security checkpoint at the between fans screaming “Women, Life, Freedom” and others shouting back “The Islamic Republic.” — Associated Press

FINAL: Iran dominates 10-man Wales, 2-0

After 90 minutes of pressing Wales, Iran scored two goals in three minutes of stoppage time. The second half was all Iran. A red card for Wales goalkeeper Hennessey was just the opening Iran needed to secure victory.

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The result means the USMNT’s future is in their own hands with a game Friday against England and Tuesday against Iran.

What are yellow, red card rules at the World Cup?

Hennessey received a red card, which means he’s out for his next game against England. MeanwhileIran’s Alireza Jahanbakhsh was shown a yellow against Wales, which means he’s also out for his next game against USA.

What does that mean?

Hennessey shown red, Wales down to 10 men

Taremi on the attack for Iran with only Hennessey in the way. The Welsh goalkeeper lifted his leg and collided with Taremi. Originally shown a yellow, the referee took to video review and changed yellow for red to send off Hennessey. Wales is down to 10 men and Danny Ward steps in goal.

Azmoun’s day is done for Iran

Iran’s skill at the front, Azmoun, comes off the field. He had one of Iran’s closes chances with his breakaway, but looked tired as he walked off the field.

He finishes the day with four shots, two on target, and 22 touches. Iran has more than double Wales shots.

Cruel crossbar: Iran hits the post twice

The two best chances so far for Iran came early in the second half on a breakaway run by Sardar Azmoun. The striker wheeled by Wales defense but his shot clanged off the right post. Teammate Ali Gholizadeh followed up with a second shot off the left post.

Iran sings national anthem

Before the game, Iranian players sang the national anthem after skipping the tradition during their first game against England.

It actually is possible to stand up for what’s right, even when it’s not in your best interests, at this World Cup.

Hours after European soccer authorities caved to FIFA’s threats over plans to show a small token of support for the LGBTQ community, Iran’s players risked the ire of their government by refusing to sing the national anthem before Monday’s game. The European teams backed off because they were oh-so-afraid of jeopardizing their chances at the World Cup, while the Iranian players went ahead despite knowing security forces back home have arrested, beaten, shot at and even killed those who have dared protest the death of Mahsa Amini. — Nancy Armour wrote Monday.

What does this game mean for USMNT?

With Iran and Wales in a group with England and the U.S., what is the best result for the USMNT? Yahoo Sports reporter Henry Bushnell ranked the most favorable outcomes:

Iran, Wales tied at halftime, 0-0

Both teams had their chances in the first half. While Wales dominated the possession statistics and entered the attacking third more times, Iran took advantage of the counter attack. Iran built into the game, making the most of the sun being in the eyes of Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey.

Iran had two chances in stoppage time. The first game from a cross by Ezatolahi, but Azmoun couldn’t get on the end of the pass. The second came when Rodon fouled Taremi, awarding Iran a free kick. After dangerously bouncing around the box, the ball bounced out to Nourollahi whose long-range shot was saved by Hennessey.

Iran was 3-0 down at halftime against England Monday, if the team loses to Wales they are effectively eliminated from the tournament with one game left.

Bale’s shot blocked for Wales

Welsh star Gareth Bale got a left foot on a headed pass from 6-foot-5 Kieffer Moore, Hosseini stands tall and makes the save. Wales has the possession advantage so far, but Iran is making the most of the counter attack.

Wales’ forward Gareth Bale reacts during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between Wales and Iran at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha.

Iran’s opening goal disallowed

Wales got an early warning after Iran struck first. Sardar Azmoun sent a through ball to Ali Gholizaduh, who was offside when he made an easy tap in.

The goal was quickly disallowed.

Starting lineups Wales vs. Iran

Five changes for Iran from Monday, most notable is in goal. Alireza Beiranvand remains out after his apparent head injury during the 6-2 loss to England. Hossein Hosseini starts in goal. Iran also added more of a defensive shape to their formation.

Iran starting XI (4-3-3): Hosseini; Mohammadi, Hosseini, Pouraliganji, Rezaeian; Hajsafi, Ezatolahi, Nourollahi; Taremi, Azmoun, Gholizadeh

For Wales, striker Daniel James takes the field of Kieffer Moore.

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Wales vs. Iran — 5 a.m.

Wales snatched a draw from the jaws of defeat with a late penalty kick goal against the United States on Monday, and will look to carry that momentum into a matchup against an Iran squad that got routed by England. Making matters worse for Iran is that goalkeeper Ali Beiranvand will miss Friday’s game, giving likely replacement Hossein Hosseini a tall task against Welsh star Gareth Bale.

Time:  Friday, Nov. 25 at 5 a.m. ET

Stadium: Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium

How to watch: FS1 and Telemundo or stream on fuboTV and Peacock (Spanish)

Qatar vs. Senegal — 8 a.m.

Qatar made history when it kicked off the World Cup on Sunday, becoming the first host country to lose the opening game. It was an underwhelming performance against Ecuador, and the loss puts Qatar in danger of also being only the second host after South Africa in 2010 to be eliminated in the group stage. Friday’s task will not be easy, Senegal boasts an array of players from the top leagues in England, Spain, Italy and France even if it is missing injured forward Sadio Mane.

Time:  Friday, Nov. 25 at 8 a.m. ET

Stadium: Al Thumama Stadium

How to watch: FS1 and Telemundo or stream on fuboTV and Peacock (Spanish)

Netherlands vs. Ecuador — 11 a.m.

This matchup could very well decide the Group A winner. Powered by a brace by striker Enner Valencia, Ecuador disappointed the hosts with a 2-0 win in the World Cup opener on Sunday. Netherlands is coming off a 2-0 win over a Senegal that boasts a tremendous amount of talent. A win here would further cement the Netherlands’ expected status as a World Cup title contender.

Time:  Friday, Nov. 25 at 11 a.m. ET

Stadium: Khalifa International Stadium

How to watch: FOX and Telemundo or stream on fuboTV and Peacock (Spanish)

England vs. United States — 2 p.m.

With the USMNT opening with a 1-1 draw with Wales and England routing Iran, 6-2, in their World Cup opener, the tournament hits a crucial juncture for both teams. While England can move a step closer to winning Group B with a win, the U.S. will look to at least keep hopes to reach the Round 16 alive. A win or draw would put the Americans in decent position to be one of the two teams to advance. However, this is a loaded England team with hopes that go far beyond just advancing to the knockout rounds.

Time:  Friday, Nov. 25 at 2 p.m. ET

Stadium: Al Bayt Stadium

How to watch: FOX and Telemundo or stream on fuboTV and Peacock (Spanish)

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: World Cup updates: USMNT clashes with England in crucial Group B match



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