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Spain And Portugal Still Not Guaranteed Group B Progress Despite Wins

The seventh day of World Cup action is beginning to bring clarity to proceedings in Russia.

After the hosts sunk Egypt yesterday to book their place in the last 16, Uruguay did likewise today, following an unimpressive 1-0 win over a hapless Saudi Arabia.

Both on six points in Group A, the sides will face off on Monday to see who will get the top seeding for the next round, though Uruguay will have to improve in front of goal given the Russian’s superior goal difference in the event of a draw.

In Group B, favourites Spain and Portugal bagged wins against Iran and Morocco respectively.

In the early fixture, Cristiano Ronaldo’s fourth minute header proved decisive, with the Moroccans, despite their second defeat in the competition, keeping the Portuguese honest.

See Also: Odds Tumble On World Cup Top Goalscorer After Ronaldo Winner Over Morocco

In the evening, Spain took to the field to claim some much needed points, as despite looking strong last week they were held to a 3-3 draw by Ronaldo and co.

Iran, fearing a bloodbath, played a heavily conservative formation, even by modern footballing standards. Their defence held out in the first half, and Carlos Queiroz’s side went into half time with a clean sheet.

Their good work was undone just nine minutes in the second half in unfortunate circumstances though. Diego Costa turned with the ball from an Andres Iniesta pass, with Ramin Rezaeian’s attempted challenge only serving to hit the ball off the forward into his own goal, netting Costa’s third of the competition.

To their credit, Iran threw caution to the wind, and created their own share of chances, including a Saeid Ezatolahi goal that was ruled offside.

Though the Iranians acquitted themselves well against one of the tournament favourites, with Vahid Amiri squandering a great chance from a header, it wasn’t enough to claw back the deficit.

However, with last week’s win over Morocco, Iran are still in with a shout of qualifying for the knockout stages, currently on three points.

Portugal and Spain are on four points each with identical goal differences, and while at least one of them will progress, both doing so isn’t guaranteed. Point-less Morocco play Spain next Monday night, while Portugal face Iran at the same time.

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Author: Chris Kelleher

Student whose interests lie in sports ranging from Darts to MMA, with the likes of Golf, Boxing and Soccer in between. Closet wrestling fan and a lover of sports psychology and stiff jabs.