Portugal & Spain progressed to the World Cup knockout stages

Portugal & Spain progressed to the World Cup knockout stages
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Cristiano Ronaldo

Portugal progressed to the World Cup knockout stages after drawing with Iran in a game full of VAR controversy.

Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty for Portugal and was shown a yellow card after a lengthy VAR review for a possible red card.

Iran scored a late penalty, given after another video review, and almost snatched a winner in stoppage time which would have seen them not only go through at Portugal’s expense but also top the group, with Spain held to a 2-2 draw by Morocco. Iago Aspas scored a stoppage-time equaliser – with the aid of VAR – as Spain scraped an unconvincing draw with Morocco to top Group B and secure a World Cup last-16 tie against hosts Russia.

Ricardo Quaresma had put Portugal in front with a sensational goal at the end of the first half.

The late Iran penalty denied the European champions top spot in the group and means they play Uruguay in Sochi in the last 16 on Saturday, rather than Group A runners-up Russia.

VAR has been a major talking point in the 2018 World Cup but the final matches in Group B provided its most controversial night so far.

The controversy began with the awarding of Portugal’s penalty, which was eventually saved by Iran goalkeeper Ali Beiranvand, diving to his left to deny Ronaldo.