Edition 1483
14 July 2018
Edition: 1483

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

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Portugal lose top spot after VAR steps in...

by Chris Wright, in Sport · 28-06-2018 14:39:00 · 0 Comments

In an ugly final group game, Portugal finished in second place after a controversial penalty decision handed Iran an equaliser late on in a 1-1 draw. Spain held onto top spot with a 2-2 draw against Morocco. The European champions will now face Uruguay in the Round of 16 on Saturday evening.

Portugal lose top spot after VAR steps in...

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. As expected, it was Portugal who had the lion’s share of the play with Iran, happy to sit back and soak up the pressure, waiting until the thirty-third minute to have their first attempt on goal but Saeid Ezatolahi’s header was comfortably gathered by Rui Patrício.
Exactly five months ago, Quaresma scored a trademark goal for his Turkish club Besiktas against Fenerbahçe in the Istanbul derby, when he bent the ball into the top corner of the net with the outside of his right foot.
On the brink of half-time, the 34-year-old winger repeated the spectacular feat to notch up one of the goals of the tournament and give Portugal a deserved lead at the interval. The second-half was littered with players confronting the referee, niggling fouls, play-acting, a missed penalty, misuse of the VAR system and a highly controversial penalty!
Emotions rose almost immediately, after a clumsy challenge from Morteza Pouraliganji on Ronaldo handed Portugal a penalty, courtesy of VAR, but the Real Madrid star failed to beat Beiranvand, who kept his side in contention.
A heart-in-mouth moment saw the referee analyse VAR footage over a potential red-card offence by Ronaldo, but a yellow card is all the number seven would receive going into the final ten minutes of the game.
More drama was reserved for stoppage time with Iran controversially being awarded a penalty for handball. Firstly the VAR officials were wrong in referring it to the referee who inexplicably awarded a spot-kick.
Karim Ansarifard converted his penalty and Iran came desperately close to turning the game on its head just minutes later through Mehdi Taremi, who fired 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 with Iran crashing out on four points.

 

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Edition 1483
14 July 2018
Edition: 1483

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter

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