Wales’ hopes of reaching the knockout stage of their first World Cup in 64 years suffered a major blow as Robert Page’s side were beaten 2-0 by Iran’s late, late show.
The Dragons were aiming to build upon the 1-1 stalemate with the USA in their opening match on Monday, but struggled to get on top against a much-improved Iran side and saw goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey sent off four minutes from time.
It proved decisive as stoppage time goals from substitute Rouzbeh Cheshmi and Ramin Rezaeian secured the points.
Wales looked to have survived a second-half onslaught against Iran, but a stunning late double saw them slip to a 2-0 defeat at the 2022 World Cup. Wayne Hennessey was sent off for a professional foul outside the penalty area that brought back memories of Harold Schumacher’s infamous tackle on Patrick Battiston at the 1982 World Cup, albeit not quite as violent. Defeat leaves Wales on one point.
Wales will now need to beat England in their final game on Tuesday to have any chance of qualifying for Round of 16 of the biggest soccer tournament in Qatar.