A bizarre bullet header by Moroccan substitute Bouhaddouz past his own goalkeeper off a free kick in the 95th minute handed the Meli of Iran a shocking 1-0 win against the Atlas Lion in the opening match of group B at the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Russia on Friday.
Despite utterly dominating possession, the Moroccans paid dearly for several misses against an Iranian side that simply refused to attack throughout the second half – no single shot or attempt at goal.
It was really a bizarre match of two halves; Morocco dominating possession and having attempt at goal with Iran making dangerous incursions; and a second half riddled with injuries and fouls from both sides.
The only talking point in the second half was a mini touchline scuffle between Morocco’s coach Herve Renard and Iran’s manager Carlos Quieroz.
Iranian goal keeper Alireza Beiranvand was no doubt the hero as he thwarted the desperate Moroccans who could not find a way past the Iranian goalie.
Before making it as a professional player, Beiranvand ran away from his nomad family and worked in a dress factory, a car wash and as a street cleaner.
Even he could not have dreamed of being part of history when Aziz Bouhaddouz’s bullet header handed Iran only their second ever World Cup win.
For Morocco, they must now dig deep to beat power-houses Spain and Portugal in their next games.
A sad day for African football.