Portugal have fallen to a second-placed finish in Group B after a controversial penalty decision handed Iran an equaliser late on in a 1-1 draw in the Mordovia Arena, as Spain held onto first place with a 2-2 draw against Morocco.

The European champions, who will now face Uruguay in the Round of 16, struggled to break Carlos Queiroz's side down before Ricardo Quaresma's moment of magic on the brink of half-time promised to be the decider throughout the encounter.

A late penalty stole the show, however, converted by Karim Ansarifard, with the referee coming to a controversial conclusion when reviewing footage from VAR, as the two nations shared a point each.

Santos rigns the changes

Coming into the encounter, Fernando Santos brought changes to his XI, as Adrien Silva, Quaresma and André Silva earned their first starts of the tournament, meanwhile Iran called on the return of AZ Alkmaar's Alireza Jahanbakhsh for their must-win game.

Despite being typically organised, Queiroz's side did offer Portugal an early sighting of goal following a miscommunication at the back between the keeper and his defence, as João Mário flashed his volley over from the edge of the box in the 10th minute, letting Iran off the hook.

With panic drying up at Alireza Beiranvand's end, it wasn't until the 33rd minute that the Iranians let fly at Portugal's goal via Saeid Ezatolahi's header, meeting Rui Patrício's grasp within the goal.

Quaresma stunner

Frustrations led Cristiano Ronaldo to try his luck from distance in the 40th minute, without success, reserving the great moment of inspiration for Quaresma on the brink of half-time, as the 34-year-old stunned the Mordovia Arena by placing Portugal ahead with the outside of his boot, arcing a shot from range into the top corner.

Into the second period, with Spain and Morocco locked at 1-1 in Kaliningrad, the Seleção began to count down the minutes separating them from a potential first-placed finish in Group B.

Emotions rose almost immediately after a clumsy challenge from Morteza Pouraliganji on Ronaldo handed Portugal a penalty, with the help of VAR. The Real Madrid star would scupper the chance to double the lead, however, as Beiranvand kept his side in it with a save in the 52nd minute.

Keen to make amends for the penalty miss, Ronaldo worked his way to the edge of the box in the 63rd minute before firing at goal, but again the Portugal captain would be left unhappy at the sight of his shot wide.

Second-half substitute Saman Ghoddos looked to keep Iran's hopes of qualification alive at the other end, digging a shot out from under his feet that would roam close to Patrício's near-post in the 73rd minute.

VAR red card review

A heart-in-mouth moment saw the referee analyse VAR footage over a potential red-card offense by Ronaldo, but a yellow card is all the number seven would receive going into the final ten minutes of the game, meanwhile Morocco made it 2-1 versus Spain.

More drama was reserved for stoppage time, just as Spain equalised in the other game, with Iran, rather controversially, being given the opportunity to do the same from the spot following Cedric Soares' alleged handball.

Karim Ansarifard converted his penalty and Iran came desperately close to turning the game on its head just minutes later through Mehdi Taremi, who'd fire a shot into the side-netting from inside the box.

With little time for a solution, Portugal were left to settle for second place behind Spain, matching Santos' men up against Uruguay in the next round, as Iran crashed out on four points.

By Patrick Ribeiro

Portugal: Rui Patrício - Cedric Soares, Pepe, José Fonte, Raphaël Guerreiro - Ricardo Quaresma (Bernardo Silva, 70'), William Carvalho, Adrien Silva, João Mário (João Moutinho, 82) - Cristiano Ronaldo, André Silva

Iran: Alireza Beiranvand - Ramin Rezaeian, Morteza Pouraliganji, Jalal Hosseini, Haji Safi (Milad Mohammadi, 57') - Saeid Ezatolahi (Karim Ansarifard, 76'), Omid Ebrahimi, Vahid Amiri - Mehdi Taremi, Alireza Jahanbakhsh (Saman Ghoddos, 70') - Sardar Azmoun

Goals:

[0-1] - Ricardo Quaresma (44')

[1-1] - Karim Ansarifard (93')

 

Comments (42)

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I had a feeling this match was going to be nervous viewing. And at this rate, I'm going to get stomach ulcers watching Portugal play like this. But let's not demoralise. Spain also struggled and drew with Morocco. Ronaldo should have done better,...

I had a feeling this match was going to be nervous viewing. And at this rate, I'm going to get stomach ulcers watching Portugal play like this. But let's not demoralise. Spain also struggled and drew with Morocco. Ronaldo should have done better, but the dream, if a very distant one is still alive. Very annoying not to finish top of the group considering that was never a penalty. But hey, the referee knows best and carefully watched the images on the VAR. I'll take Uruguay in the last 16. If we are going to win the whole thing we have to get past the best teams and if we get past Uruguay then we are serious contenders. Força Portugal!

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" If we are going to win the whole thing we have to get past the best teams and if we get past Uruguay then we are serious contenders. Força Portugal!"

This! All day.

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VAR robbed Portugal off 1st place, disastrous decision if this is the standard VAR is going to be we will get about 3 penalty a game in each half.

All that said Portugal honestly!? Have scored first in each of their group stage games but CANNOT...

VAR robbed Portugal off 1st place, disastrous decision if this is the standard VAR is going to be we will get about 3 penalty a game in each half.

All that said Portugal honestly!? Have scored first in each of their group stage games but CANNOT score a 2nd to make it 2-0? Completely unacceptable and we had chances in each of the games to make it 2-0 but didn't and instead suffered instead

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Awful 2nd half by the team, a lot of lethargy and loss of spirit once Quaresma scored. I thought Santos made some good changes for the starting 11, and am surprised Manuel Fernandes did not start.

The referee in this game was brutal. I mean...

Awful 2nd half by the team, a lot of lethargy and loss of spirit once Quaresma scored. I thought Santos made some good changes for the starting 11, and am surprised Manuel Fernandes did not start.

The referee in this game was brutal. I mean beyond brutal. He managed to take a sure fire technology in VAR and make worse calls. He was pretty awful in the Russia-Egypt game as well.

We got the result, end of the day, and I will be honest, I prefer playing Uruguay than Russia at home at this point. Uruguay are great up front, but if we play right, we can contain their midfield and limit the chances for Cavani and Suarez. Let's see what happens.

At the end of the day, there are no easy or hard games and no tough or simple brackets. You want that gold, you need to play everyone and get results.

Forca.

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Why do we always have to suffer when watching this team play?

We are lucky to not go out after the Iranian missed from 2 metres out right at the end.

VAR is a farce, we now have 6 players on yellows I believe.

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Last time out against Morocco I was extremely disappointed and felt almost ashamed that we won. At Euro 2016 at least I could tell myself that if we lacked in the offensive department, at least defensively we were magnificent. Against Morocco we...

Last time out against Morocco I was extremely disappointed and felt almost ashamed that we won. At Euro 2016 at least I could tell myself that if we lacked in the offensive department, at least defensively we were magnificent. Against Morocco we rode on luck and luck alone after Ronaldo's goal. Worst competitive game I've seen under Santos yet.

The first half today was better, I'll give the team that. Portugal were at least connecting, just failing in the final 3rd. Props to Iran too for at least coming out to play a bit in that first half as they had some dangerous counterattacks. Quaresma scores a wondergoal and all is well. Which reminds me, can we give a little bit more credit for that beautiful backheel assist by Adrien? Instant Poland 2016 memories with Nani-Renato!!

So we score after a trying first half and what happens in the 2nd half? The same thing after the Morocco game: not enough urgency to make 2-0 and each minute away from Quaresma's beauty makes the team more and more complacent. They look tired, uninterested/unmotivated, SLOW... We end up STRUGGLING whilst we are supposed to be in command! But rather than just being lethargic, one by one players start losing their temper over nothing and start dishing out idiotic fouls! WHY???

I'm not even mad at Ronaldo's penalty miss: shit happens. He's bailed this team out basically by himself over two games (nay the past decade!) so he can afford this. But the rest of the team I can't forgive. Where is the persistance?? That Santos-instilled refusal to lay down and take it?? Remember when Lewandowski scored very early in our quarter final clash two years ago? What did we show? Grit and determination followed by an excellent Sanchez goal provided by Nani. Where is THAT Portugal?

There is "winning ugly" due to lack of offense and focus on defence (Euro 2016) but the way we've been winning the past two games is a form of ugly I can't defend: the kind where the win feels undeserved. For the past 14 years I've had Portugal's back in this Portuphobe country of the Netherlands I live in but even I am running out of ammo to defend us if the level of the past two games is going to be our new standard.

Yeah, yeah, "results matter" "subtance is secondary" yadayadayada. And yeah, yeah, Iran's penalty should NOT have been rewarded but even wihtout it we made a complete fool out of ourselves... I am very pissed with Portugal at the moment.

If that Euro 2016 Portugal doesn't turn up on Saturday, I don't see how we are gonna prevent being mauled 4-0 or 5-0 by an Uruguay side that's anything but flashy but at the very least defends better than we do and scores when they can.

I am caught up in my anger and no doubt it will pass away in the next few days but this is NOT what I expected us to be going through after that fantastic 3-3 game vs. Spain... So forgive my pessimism fellow Selecao fans!

Forca Portugal, PLEASE improve and play like a REAL Santos team on Saturday!

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Well but lets be honest, the Dutch TV is absolute garbage. They don't like Portugal and they show it every time, weird pundits, people who speak out and saying Ronaldo is a "kwal" and so on.

Don't pay attention to these Dutch people, they hate...

Well but lets be honest, the Dutch TV is absolute garbage. They don't like Portugal and they show it every time, weird pundits, people who speak out and saying Ronaldo is a "kwal" and so on.

Don't pay attention to these Dutch people, they hate Ronaldo and hate Portugal for that.

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I try but it's not exactly easy hehe. Hence I love this site so much. Finally found people that will only talk smack about Portugal out of love for the team and not out of disdain or stupid sentiments.

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why are the Dutch "Portuphobe"?? Just because of 2006?? LOL!! Its true that Portuguese dive sometimes, but other nations do that as well even the dutch. Also, it was the dutch who opened the pandora box and then violence started. It was not only...

why are the Dutch "Portuphobe"?? Just because of 2006?? LOL!! Its true that Portuguese dive sometimes, but other nations do that as well even the dutch. Also, it was the dutch who opened the pandora box and then violence started. It was not only Portugal's fault.

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It's 2006, Ronaldo, Figo, Maniche, 2004, 2012, 2013.
It's a true shame, they praise the Spanish and even the Germans who have caused them more pain than Portugal has ever done but they always find a way to turn good things from the national teams...

It's 2006, Ronaldo, Figo, Maniche, 2004, 2012, 2013.
It's a true shame, they praise the Spanish and even the Germans who have caused them more pain than Portugal has ever done but they always find a way to turn good things from the national teams in bad things.

Pundits even said Iran deserved 10.000% to go through, they were fighting a Dutch referee active on the World Cup because he didn't agree with them. I'm looking for new channels to watch games on nowadays.

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Frank Snoeks & Arno Vermeulen, I can't believe these turds are PAID for spouting so much biased nonsense on tv. Incredible world we live in.

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The Dutch may originate from a small country but the hidden arrogance and entitlement they have when it comes to football might shock you. Despite only ever having won one trophy they feel they are amongst the world's elite. Because of the Cruyff...

The Dutch may originate from a small country but the hidden arrogance and entitlement they have when it comes to football might shock you. Despite only ever having won one trophy they feel they are amongst the world's elite. Because of the Cruyff era, praise from eg English and German media only strengthen that belief. So when a nation like Portugal comes around to ruin their 2002 qualification and end their Euro 2004, WC2006 and Euro 2012 dreams, it's no surprise they are so salty.

That said, I feel a lot of them bear an unreasonable grudge over WC2006. As you said, they themselves started it and moreover, there was no chance in hell that transitional squad of theirs was going to win that Cup, not against that France or Italy anyway. At both Euro 2004 and Euro 2012 we beat them fair and square because in both cases we were simply better. They should have no complaints about it.

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I think the VAR threw all the players off.

I wanted to punch Queiroz in the face.

Tiki taka was not working, fast overlap was, but that required drive and passion. They did not show that today. I wonder if they we told to keep calm and...

I think the VAR threw all the players off.

I wanted to punch Queiroz in the face.

Tiki taka was not working, fast overlap was, but that required drive and passion. They did not show that today. I wonder if they we told to keep calm and composed and they misunderstood it for lackadaisical.

I believe we can get the right cocktail together for this tournament. I believe in our men, and I believe in the coach.

Forca Portugal!

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This game feels like we’ve been knocked out already. We were less than 5 minutes away from winning the game and topping the group. We are now on the difficult side of the bracket and have no one to blame but ourselves. At the same time the VAR...

This game feels like we’ve been knocked out already. We were less than 5 minutes away from winning the game and topping the group. We are now on the difficult side of the bracket and have no one to blame but ourselves. At the same time the VAR awarded Iran the penalty it also gave Spain their goal. That missed penalty cost us big time. With all that being said, this team is horrible. It doesn’t look like they are capable of playing differently with so many players underperforming so even on the easier side of the draw they would find a way to mess it up. They were never going far.

I find it funny how we were all dreading how our centerbacks would look but so far that’s been our strongest area.

Also Santos’ subs were once again terrible. Why bring Bernardo into a physical game like this? He saw that Andre Silva was invisible out there but only brought Guedes at stoppage time. Insane

Side note, is there any stat for the win ratio for Portugal when Quaresma starts? It seems like whenever he starts Portugal never win

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he scored the only goal, I' was glad to have there in any capacity

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Tom, OR anyone that can answer:

Anyone know what Santos/Quiroz arguing about at the end BUt then made up and hugged?

Also, HOW do the cards work now? Alll erased, OR ?..

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Quieroz was bitching about the Portuguese players not coming over to congratulate him.

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Paulo6,

Check out the flash interview in Tom's twitter feed from Moutinho. That is funny stuff.

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I've never said this before, but I'm actually happy we got the draw. Portugal played like sh** again and did not deserve to win this match. So maybe with a draw something will happen but I doubt it. Now I don't want to just go on a ranting...

I've never said this before, but I'm actually happy we got the draw. Portugal played like sh** again and did not deserve to win this match. So maybe with a draw something will happen but I doubt it. Now I don't want to just go on a ranting tirade so I will speak on some positives but this is the reality folks.. on current form Portugal will be eliminated by Uruguay this Saturday. This is the first time I must say Santos is completely clueless and i'm afraid because of the way he has molded us to play in these training sessions.. it tells me is that there's no chance in hell he will have the guts to make the real changes we need kick start our tournament. (We all had better expectations)

Let me get to the few positives:

Adrien - Did his best to get forward and help the attack despite not having the same technical gifts in comparison to Moutinho. Also committed himself to track back and take away the pockets of space in our final third. His flick set up for Ricardo Quaresma's wondrous trivela goal was marvelous.

Quaresma - it's such a pity we never got to see RQ and CR play together for Portugal in their prime. These two would have torn the very best opponents back line to shreds with their trickery and speed. Memories of his goal against Belgium 11 years ago but this time on the grandest stage of all.

Pepe - Could say he's slightly regressed since moving to Turkey but surely bought his A game today. Made a couple crucial interceptions that saved us a goal.

Raphael Guerreiro - He is one to watch for when he gets forward. Gives us some much needed thrust when there's literally no one good enough to take the ball up through the middle, or maybe there is but they are being played out of position.

Now back to reality. I noticed William pressing forward a lot more than he's accustomed too. He is very slow chasing the ball, he can't run with it and he takes forever to pass the ball as well. The moment we get caught out with William that high up the field, we are in deep trouble. There were occasions where we saw this and his turtle pace couldn't keep up with the play. Leaving our aging CB's all the work to erase the threat. Thankfully it was Iran. If this happens verses Uruguay with Suarez and Cavani in the center of it.. we're finished. it's over.

What on earth is Joao Mario doing on the left wing? For the love of God Fernando? I hope you're reading this. You want to protect Guerreiro defensively.. I get it. But what does Mario provide down that left hand side. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Just play him in the middle. He IS a NATURAL midfielder for crying out loud! He can still help defend while playing in the middle, you know that, right?!

If it wasn't for Adrien's surprising (at least IMO) contributions in attack.. Quaresma would have never scored that goal never mind touched the ball. He was starved of it the first 20 minutes or so. When the only creative midfielder is positioned on the opposite side of the field.. what gives?

Not going to criticize Andre Silva or Cristiano. Our leader pretty much falling back from forward position to get any kind of service on the ball. A.Silva had to drift wide too because of the lack of a wide player to stretch the field out on our left side. The fact of the matter is until we sort this sh** out in the middle and play actual wingers.. we can forget about these two ever really getting into the game.

Then Quaresma got subbed for guess who? Bernardo Silva. Oh yeah. Where was Bernardo again? Thought this was our future Deco. But he is being played on the damned right wing?!? Third straight game.. flop of the match. There was actually one time I recall when Portugal cleared danger. Ball came to Bernardo moving out from central position and he played an excellent ball forward right on the feet for Cristiano Ronaldo. Come on Santos, give your head a shake!

Here's my line-up: (0% chance playing after our coach has lost his brain)

Patricio
Cedric---Dias----Pepe----Guerreiro
-----------William---Mario-------------
--------------Bernardo------------------
Guedes----------------------------------CR7
-----------------Andre Silva-------------------


Our CBs have just about been getting the job done but this doesn't mean they've been flawless. Dias is way better than Fonte and getting in a younger.. fresher center back in there is so imperative. I remember Pepe in his younger days would make forward runs where the space presents itself to run out of trouble and begin the counterattack. Dias should be able to do this for us now. But will this change be made? Not a chance. And so we continue with our only way of dealing with danger by launching the ball back into our opponents hands and giving away possession. The way I see it Joao Mario, Bruno Fernandes, and Bernardo Silva as all attacking midfielders but we desperately need Mario's work rate in our midfield to make up for William's lack thereof. So I'm giving him the #8 role. Even though William can't run. His physical presence is his main attribute and there's no one in our 23 selected to replace him. It is what it is. Bernardo is our best #10, but again.. when has Santos ever played Bernardo in the middle? Who remembers watching this kid in the under-21s? It seems like we find the gem to plug a hole we've had for so long but then he gets played out of position. Am I the only one who sees and understands the blatantly obvious? I don't want to take any credit but then why is our coach such a dud? Like how many player positions can he get wrong? My goodness. It's like half the flipping team!

Guedes the latest player to be destroyed by Santos. Yes i'm saying it. Our Euro 2016 championship winning coach is destroying players. He is too defensive minded and it worked with defense being our strength two years ago. Not anymore. Ditched A.Silva's impressive goal scoring record in qualification to play Guedes there one week before the tournament. Guedes had an excellent season playing in which position at Valencia? Can someone remind this clown?

You could even see the look on his face in the tunnel before the match. He's totally lost the plot with this team. Unimaginable but true. Portugal is going home this Saturday barring another magical display from Cristiano and an equally dull performance by Cavani and Suarez.

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@supremogino
Just read his post. Seriously everyone that’s the analysis right there. Once again you’re spot on with everything.

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