(Persia Digest) – Iran left it as late as possible to sink Morocco and take all three points in their opening World Cup Group B game, with Aziz Bouhaddouz turning the ball into his own net deep into injury time to give Carlos Queiroz's side a 1-0 win.
A stubborn Iran display looked to have ensured honours would end even at the Krestovsky Stadium with Morocco unable to turn their superior possession into goals for more than 90 minutes.
The African side had started brightly without unduly testing goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand and it was Iran who came closest to taking an unlikely lead just before half-time when Sardar Azmoun broke in behind the Moroccan defence, only for the chance to eventually be squandered.
With both sides aware how damaging a defeat could be in a group that also contains European heavyweights Spain and Portugal, the cagey theme continued in the second half.
Petty fouls littered the play and the game looked to have petered out only for Morocco's Bouhaddouz to head Ehsan Haji Safi's free-kick into his own net at the near post in the 96th minute, prompting wild celebrations from the Iranian contingent.
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