Iran look to shock Portugal and reach Round of 16

Iran look to shock Portugal and reach Round of 16
Iran's players celebrate after the FIFA World Cup 2018 group B preliminary round soccer match between Morocco and Iran in St.Petersburg, Russia, 15 June 2018.

by Austin Ditlhobolo

Sunday Jun 24, 2018. 16:30

Iran will face off with Portugal in their final 2018 FIFA World Cup Group B match at the Mordovia Arena in Russia on Monday.

Kick-off is at 20h00 CAT.

Team Melli suffered their maiden defeat at the tournament when they lost 1-0 to Spain at the Kazan Arena on Wednesday.

The defeat left Iran placed third on the Group B standings with three points from two matches. They are only a point behind group leaders Spain.

The three-time Asian champions will advance to the Round of 16 if they secure a win against a much-fancied Portugal side.

Iran will look to to their experienced attackers Reza Ghoochannejhad and Sardar Azmoun, who have scored 39 goals for Team Melli between them.

Meanwhile, Portugal registered their maiden win at the tournament when they beat 1-0 Morocco 1-0 at the Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday.

The win took the Navigators to second spot on the Group B standings with four points from two games. They are only behind leaders Spain on goal-difference.

The reigning European champions are looking to reach the Round of 16 with a victory over a stubborn Iran side.

Cristiano Ronaldo, who is joint-top scorer in the tournament with four goals, is the dangerman for Portugal and he has the ability to inspire his nation to victory against Iran.

In head-to-head stats according to the, Iran and Portugal have clashed twice.

The Navigators have secured two wins against Team Melli.

Paraguayan match referee Enrique Caceres will officiate the game between Iran and Portugal on Monday.

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