Iran 1-1 Portugal: 5 Talking Points, World Cup 2018
SCORE: Portugal (Quaresma 45') 1-1 Iran (Ansarifad 93')
Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal took on Iran, who were a point behind their opponents and still in contention for a spot in the round of sixteen. After the Portuguese megastar's hat-trick heroics in the opener against Spain, Ronaldo went on to make it 4 goals in the campaign in the game against Morocco.
Iran, meanwhile, had an unbelievable start to the World Cup after they managed to steal all three points against Morocco, albeit thanks to an own-goal in the 95th minute. They showed a lot of grit and determination to keep the World Cup Champions, in 2010, at bay for the majority of the 90 minutes. They were unlucky to leave the game without anything to show for after an attempted clearance ricocheted off Diego Costa into Iran's net for the only goal of the night.
But, if Iran were able to beat Portugal on the night it would mean that they would guarantee themselves a spot in the round of sixteen. The situation was eerily similar for Portugal despite Ronaldo's antics, although a draw would be enough for the European Champions.
In a game filled with VAR reviews, penalties missed and scored, and the minnows almost coming up with an incomprehensible goal late on, here are the Talking Points:
#5 Change in personnel for Portugal
The Portugal coach must be really proud of the way his side has performed so far this competition. The way they reacted to going behind to Spain to salvage a point and then going on to manage the game against Morocco perfectly to give their hopes of progression a real boost.
However, he decided to tweak things a little in their final group stage game. He opted to start with the madness of Ricardo Quaresma in place of Bernardo Silva, the solidity of Adrien Silva in place of a half-fit Joao Moutinho, and the muscle of Andre Silva in place of a rather underwhelming Goncalo Guedes.
Adrien Silva would provide the solidity in the midfield and we all know what Ricardo Quaresma can bring to the table. Just in case we'd forgotten, the Portuguese came up with a thing of beauty to remind us all.