MOSCOW: Portugal on Monday entered the knockout stages of the FIFA World Cup after they survived a 1-1 draw against Iran in their last group encounter at the Mordovia Arena.
Ricardo Quaresma gave Portugal the lead in the 45th minute, but Iran found the equaliser through a penalty conversion from Karim Ansarifard in the extra time.
However, the most unusual part of the clash was when in-form Cristiano Ronaldo went off target with a 53rd-minute penalty, awarded after a video-assisted review.
That miss from Ronaldo, who was perhaps fortunate not to see red for another VAR check after swinging an arm into the face of Morteza Pouraliganji, was punished in the extra time when Cedric Soares was pinged for handball following which referee Enrique Caceres again went to his video monitor.
Ronaldo has scored four goals in three games till now.
Unlike Ronaldo, Ansarifard made no mistake with a powerful finish into the roof of the net to set up a grandstand finish in Saransk.
With this win, the European champions are now into the last 16 in second place, behind Spain, who themselves secured a dramatic 2-2 draw against Morocco on the same day. ANI
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