Chashmi's stoppage-time goal lifted Iran to victory over Wales

Chashmi’s stoppage-time goal lifted Iran to victory over Wales

AL-RAYAN, Qatar (AP) — Rozbah Chashmi scored in the eighth minute of second-half stoppage time to break a goalless stalemate and lead Iran to a 2-0 win over Wales at the World Cup on Friday.

Spring’s strike from outside the box was beyond the diving reach of Wales backup goalkeeper Danny Ward, who was forced into the job in the 86th minute when he lost starter Wayne Hennessey.

Ramin Rezaian scored the second goal moments later and Iran celebrated wildly as some Welsh players walked out on the field in disbelief.

Hennessey was sent off in the 86th minute for a high challenge on Mehdi Treimi.

Gareth Bale made his 110th appearance for Wales, the most ever for the national side, but the Welsh looked sluggish early on after a 1-1 draw with the United States in their Group B opener.

Iran, who beat England 6-2 in their first match to finish last in the group, played well against Wales.

But outside the Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium, ongoing protests in Iran have pitted pro-government fans against anti-government national team supporters at the World Cup.

Wales were making their second overall appearance at the World Cup and first since 1958.

Bale, who played for Major League Soccer’s LAFC this past season, failed to score 41 goals for the national team, despite teammate Chris Gunter (109) featuring in the majority.

Iran’s goalkeeper Ali Beranvand was ruled out of the game due to an injury at the beginning of the game. Hosseini started in his place.

Iran, who have qualified in the last two World Cups, have never made it to the knockout stage.

Ever since the Iranian team arrived in Qatar, there have been questions about the unrest at home. The players, who did not sing their country’s national anthem in an apparent show of solidarity with the protesters on Friday, linked arms and sang.

The two teams have not played each other in the World Cup yet. Wales won their only friendly in 1978 1-0.

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