Iran coach Carlos Queiroz had plenty to smile about on Friday. (Tim Groothuis/Witters Sport via USA TODAY Sports)
Iran got some life at the death.
The Asian side scored twice deep into stoppage to upend 10-man Wales in a Group B match at the World Cup Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar on Friday.
Roozbeh Cheshmi scored eight minutes into stoppage time and Ramin Rezaeian added another goal three minutes later to seal a 2-0 win.
The result, which did not fancy the U.S., lifted the Iranians (1-1-0, 3 points) to an important victory and into second place after dropping its opener to England, 6-2. The Welsh (0-1-1, 1) played well below expectations and par.
The United States (0-0-1, 1) play group leader England (1-0-0, 3)
After securing the deserved victory, Iranian players lifted head coach Carlos Queiroz, who directed the MetroStars (now the Red Bulls), and threw him up in the air several times.
Whatever Queiroz told his team, it worked beautifully.
Iran had several close scoring opportunities before Welsh goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey was sent off for fouling of Mehdi Taremi outside the box in the 84th minute. Referee Marco Escobar’s call was aided by VAR. Aaron Ramsey was pulled for backup keeper Danny Ward, who entered the match cold.
It didn’t help when Cheshmi cracked a low shot from the right side into the near post corner for a 1-0 lead eight minutes into added time.
On a counterattack three minutes later, Rezaeian doubled the lead as the Iranian supporters erupted. Welsh players slumped to the ground in disbelief.
The Americans will meet Iran in the final group stage match for both sides on Tuesday, Nov. 29. Wales takes on England earlier in the day.