Portugal ready for ‘tough battle’ with Iran


Not surprisingly, little was seen of Cristiano Ronaldo, who was well marked.

Former England global and current BBC pundit Alan Shearer has taken to Twitter to vent his frustrations with VAR after controversy reigned during Portugal's clash with Iran on Monday evening. If the goal did not count, Spain would be in second place behind Portugal.

Emotions rose nearly immediately, after a clumsy challenge from Morteza Pouraliganji on Ronaldo handed Portugal a penalty, courtesy of VAR, but the Real Madrid star failed to beat Beiranvand, who kept his side in contention. In all, Quaresma came the 16th player to have scored his first World Cup goal at the age of 34 years or older, though he remains the second oldest scorer in the 2018 World Cup, after Felipe Baloy of Panama.

Should Ronaldo have been sent off?

Ronaldo, who saw his spot-kick saved by Ali Beiranvand, was also later the subject of a VAR red card review after he was caught apparently taking a swing at Pouraliganji off the ball - he was eventually shown yellow.

At the other end, Karim Ansarifard got an equaliser for Iran in stoppage time after the referee awarded a second VAR-assisted penalty for handball. The question, for me, is not about the referees. It is about the attitude and the bravery and the character. "The temperature in my body it comes from 46 to 250, so understand why I need to take the jacket off", he said.

Fans in stadiums about 1,000 miles apart - and millions watching on multiple screens around the globe - were transfixed on a studio outside Moscow where World Cup fates turned on almost simultaneous video replay decisions.

The decisions must be clear for everybody, for the people.

That hardly sits well with FIFA's statement as they introduced the new system to the biggest tournament on Earth, saying: "Our goal is minimum interference for maximum benefit."Of course, that was a reference to the flow of the game itself rather than the potential impact decisions could have further down the line". "It seemed like a normal thing in the match. I think the VAR did its job and that's what we have to accept".