Carlos Queiroz hails Iran’s opening World Cup win over Morocco as ‘beautiful’

Morocco vs Iran LIVE: World Cup updates from Group B tie in St Petersburg | Daily Star

Should there be no such mistake as the own goal, the result would be reminiscent of the only match between Iran and Morocco in history, which ended up in a draw.

Aziz Bouhaddouz scored a calamitous own goal deep into second-half stoppage time as Morocco slipped to a 1-0 defeat to Iran in their first World Cup match for 20 years.

Then with barely 90 seconds left on the clock, Iran whipped in a free-kick from the left and Aziz Bouhaddouz produced a diving header at the near post to send the ball flashing into the net.

Morocco have never won their opening match at a World Cup tournament (drew two, lost three), also failing to win in 1970, 1986, 1994 and 1998.

In the second half the temp of the game slowed down as both teams picked their moments to attack.

"We have had a lot of opportunities", said the 49-year-old French former footballer, adding that they would focus on the next match. Iran, despite their tremendous efforts during their qualifying campaign, have had their ups and downs so far, and would not be able to make the grade against Morocco.

"It's our own fault and also my responsibility". "We will treat all three of these games the same and prepare in the same way".

When the pain subsides, however, they should take at least some heart from a performance which showcased some impressive talent, well assembled by Frenchman Renard.

Nobody's expecting a thriller in St. Petersburg between two teams who rely very heavily on their defences.

Renard said his team "fell into the trap" set by Iran, which sat back and relied on the defensive strength that carried the team through Asian qualifying by conceding only two goals in 10 games.

As such, Queiroz views the contest against the Moroccans as a must-win game.

Morocco dominated possession through the game and created a number of scoring chances, although many of them finished with shots off target.

Morocco will be hoping right-back Nabil Dirar is passed fit after he missed his country's friendlies against Slovakia and Estonia because of a calf injury.

Iran were missing the calming influence of suspended holding midfielder Saeid Ezatolahi as Morocco over-ran them in the centre of the park with the clever Mbark Boussoufa directing play as the African side frequently attacked in numbers.

Indeed, Iran had the best chance of the first half when Azmoun was put clean through, with only Morocco keeper Munir Mohamedi to beat.

Renard's team will find it a tall order to escape the group, but can take comfort from the fact that Morocco was the first African country to ever get past the opening round at a World Cup.

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