Morocco vs. Iran final score

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Morocco, who have waited for 20 years to be qualified for the World Cup again, will be facing a grim situation, against the reigning European champion Portugal and 2010 World Cup victor Spain in the next two group matches.

Standings: Iran - 3 (1 match), Spain - 0 (0), Portugal - 0 (0), Morocco - 0 (1).

So despite not attempting a single shot on goal in the second half and outpossessed 68-32% overall, Iran had only their second win at a World Cup, the other being the 2-1 success over the U.S. in France 20 years earlier.

For the majority of the match, Iran showed their determination and doggedness against a Moroccan side which was clearly superior in technical play.

Ziyech, an Ajax playmaker, was billed as Morocco's best attacker but he floated in and out of the game and embarrassingly missed an attempted shot completely when teed up for an early chance at the edge of the area.

The rank outsiders in a group also containing Spain and Portugal were set for a hard-fought goalless draw of little use to either side until Ehsan Hajsafi curled in a free kick from the left wing.

However, it did not matter as Queiroz, who will end his seven-year stint as Iran manager after the tournament, celebrated with his coaching staff and his players at the final whistle.

Herve Renard's team were well-organised but Morocco extended their record of never having won their opening game in the tournament despite dominating the match and carving out opportunities to score either side of half-time.

Both Morocco and Iran impressed in qualifying with Morocco only conceding one goal in their eight games, while Iran remained unbeaten and only let in five goals in their 18 qualifying matches.

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Apparently, Carlos Queiroz's men had not been able to attend overseas training camps either, for similar reasons.

"If we need to defend in 90 minutes...if we have one minute or one second of chance, we only play with one thing in the mind: try to win the game", he added.

Morocco have qualified for their fifth World Cup, their first since 1998.

Iran might have some staying power at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

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.

The second half continued in same fashion as the first, although Iran looked more threatening.

Iran's winning goal came through Morocco substitute Aziz Bouhaddouz, who put the ball into his own net with a 95th-minute diving header at the near post for a heartbreaking defeat for the North Africans. And Iran made the most of it.