3 things we learnt from Iran 1 Vs 0 Morocco


Morocco are playing in their first World Cup finals since 1998 and have never got past the last-16 phase

The King of Morocco, King Mohammed VI, has already instructed his country to try again and bid to host the 2030 event, while a strong World Cup showing in Russian Federation would help raise the profile of the team.

Morocco ran out of steam in the second half, with Iran holding onto the ball for longer, slowing the game down.

Herve Renard will have a tough job on his hands with his team selections.

"We really believed we could do something if we played as a team and that's what we did". Renard has relied on his ultra-defensive tactics all throughout the qualifying campaign and is likely to stick with it against Iran.

Iran's Rezaeian was clipped at the other end and embarked on a series of dramatic rolls, estimated at six, of which "Tom Daley would've been proud". The strongest backline in Asia was only breached by Syria after Iran's place was secured in Russian Federation.

Six minutes of stoppage time began with a late tackle and clash between players and "a problem on the touchline, a bit of a fracas".

Portuguese Queiroz takes Iran to Kazan to face Spain next time out and admits a different approach is required.

However, Iran nearly got the breakthrough with two minutes remaining of the first stanza but Morocco goalkeeper Munir was alert to keep the score goalless going into the halftime break.

Morocco, competing at the World Cup finals for the first time in 20 years, started positively and Amine Harit fired wide with a volley from the edge of the penalty area after two minutes.

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Morocco conceded zero goals during their entire qualifying campaign.

Other Iran strikers Karim Ansarifard of Greek club Olympiacos and Reza Ghoochannejhad of Dutch outfit Heerenveen have also played at the 2014 World Cup. They last played in a World Cup two decades ago in 1998.

Morocco dominated possession through the game and created a number of scoring chances, although many of them finished with shots off target.

Medhi Benatia will be the key player who could be responsible for Morocco's outcome at the World Cup. His best performance was in 2010, when he led Portugal to the Round of 16 before being knocked out by eventual winners Spain.

As for the Moroccans, they can not afford another slip-up against Portugal in Moscow on the same day.

The "Atlas Lions" will be hoping that Monaco winger Nabil Dirar is fit to start.

Morocco have the quality and grit to win this one fair and transparent.

It would take a minor miracle for either side to progress past the group stage, which makes this an incredibly important fixture, considering points will be more hard to come by in their other pool matchups.

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