Two late goals from Iran gave the Arab nation all 3 points, leaving Wales on the brink of World Cup elimination in their first appearance at the tournament in 64 years.
Goals from Roozbeh Cheshmi and Ramin Rezaeian in the 98th minute and 101st minute respectively opened the door to a first World Cup knockout stages appearance for Carlos Queiroz‘s Iran side. For Wales, with one point from their first two games and a game against high flying England to come, chances of a knockout round appearance are bleak.
For the first 80 minutes of the game, it looked like it was heading towards a drab goalless draw until goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey was shown a straight red card for racing off his line and fouling Mehdi Taremi in the 84th minute.
After coming from behind to seal a 1-1 draw with the USA in the first game, Wales needed a victory to boost their qualification hopes but largely they struggled to break Iran down.
Following the game, Gareth Bale said, “We are gutted, there is no other way to say it. We fought until the last second and we need to go again.”
“We are all gutted but we have to pick ourselves up straight away. It is going to be difficult for us for sure. We will have to see.”
On Wayne Hennessey’s red card, he added: “I haven’t seen it so I don’t know (if it was a red) but the red card changes the game completely. Obviously, we let the first one in and the second goal doesn’t matter.“
Bale became Wales’ most capped player following this match with 110 appearances, overtaking Chris Gunter.
Wales have now gone seven games without a victory in all competitions for the first time since May 2003.