Iran News ...


06/16/18

Iranian Fans Celebrate Dramatic Late Victory Over Morocco In World Cup Opener

Source: RFE/RL

Iran has scored a dramatic victory over Morocco at the World Cup in Russia, spurring thousands of fans back home to pour onto the streets to celebrate the second-ever victory for the country in soccer's centerpiece event.


People in Tehran celebrate Iran's World Cup victory over Morocco
See photos by Islamic Republic News Agency

Iranian state television on June 15 showed fans singing and dancing, lighting firecrackers, and honking car horns on the streets of the capital, Tehran, after the team's 1-0 victory in St. Petersburg.

Traffic on the city's crowded Vali Asr Street was reduced to a crawl as cars blasted their horns and joyful fans leaned out of windows waving the Iranian flag.


People in Rasht watch Iran-Morocoo World Cup match
See photos by Islamic Republic News Agency

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif praised the squad for displaying "determination and dignity."

Iran's victory was sealed at five minutes into stoppage time when Morocco's Aziz Bouhaddouz headed in an own goal.


The Goal!
photo by Islamic Republic News Agency

It was the first World Cup victory for the Iranian side since it beat the United States 2-1 in France in 1998.


Iran-Morocco World Cup match on June 15
See photos by ISNA

"This was not a miracle. We did not win this game by magic. We won because the team was fully concentrating for 90 minutes," Iran coach Carlos Queiroz said after the victory over Morocco.

"Our strategy worked perfectly from the first minute to create a mental collapse in the Moroccan players. We tried to do that by creating frustration, blocking all the playmakers," he added.


Iran-Morocco World Cup match on June 15
See photos by Islamic Republic News Agency

During the first half of the match, apparent Iran fans unfurled a banner protesting Iran's policies blocking women from attending soccer matches back home.

The banner read "#NoBan4Women" and "Support Iranian women to attend stadiums."

It was taken down for an unknown reason after a brief commotion as three members of the stadium staff moved to where the banner was being held. It was lifted again during the second half.


People in Tehran celebrate Iran's World Cup victory over Morocco
See photos by Islamic Republic News Agency

At home, Iranian authorities have been receiving increasing criticism for policies that ban female spectators from entering stadiums for men's sporting events.

Police often lock up offenders who try to ignore the prohibition -- drawing fire from international sports bodies and rights groups.

A planned open-air screening at Tehran's Azadi ("freedom") stadium was canceled by authorities at the last minute without explanation.


People in Tehran watch Iran-Morocoo World Cup match in Cinema Azadi
See photos by Islamic Republic News Agency

It would have marked the first time since the Islamic Revolution in 1979 that men and women could attend a sports event together at the stadium.

Iran will next face Spain in Kazan on June 20.


Iran football team at the World Cup match with Morocco on June 15
photo by Islamic Republic News Agency

Meanwhile, in the early match on June 15, Uruguay beat Egypt 1-0 in Yekaterinburg, while soccer powerhouses Spain and Portugal played to a 3-3 draw in the late match in Sochi.

Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo scored his team's three goals, including the final one of the game that equalized the score in the 88th minute.

Russia opened the competition with a 5-0 victory over Saudi Arabia in Moscow on June 14 in a match between the two lowest-ranked FIFA teams in the tournament.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, The New York Times, and dpa

... Payvand News - 06/16/18 ... --



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