Monday, June 25
Group A (5 PM)
Saudi Arabia vs Egypt
Uruguay vs Russia
Group B (9 PM)
Spain vs morocco
Iran vs Portugal
The last group games for the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Russia are set to kick off on Monday, and all eyes will be on Christiano Ronaldo as the Real Madrid forward will look to steer Portugal against Iran in a tricky Group B tie.
With both Group games played at the same time, Portugal will have ears in Kaliningrad where Spain will lock horns with Morocco – Spain and Portugal are joint top but the latter will look to better Spain’s result if they are to top their group.
However, the Iberian neighbors are just looking for a draw to seal their fate in Round of 16.
Unlike Spain who are playing an already ousted Morocco, Portugal will have to tussle a Iran side who are on three points, just one below Portugal – Iran can still qualify if they beat Portugal, a possible result if we are to go with their recent performance against Spain, despite a loss.
Iran would have been more comfortable going into their last group game if it was not for Saeid Ezatolahi’s goal against Spain on Wednesday which was overturned after the video assistant referee for the game signaled that a player was offside.
Portugal who have relied heavily on Ronaldo so far in Russia will hope that the Real Madrid star comes with his scoring boots as the he has scored all of their four goals, including a hat-trick in the 3-3 draw against Spain.
In the 2006 World Cup, Ronaldo scored one of the two goals as Portugal defeated Iran 2-0 in the only World Cup encounter between these two sides, Deco scored the other.
Interestingly, Iran coach, Carlos Queiroz has been Ronaldo’s coach both at Manchester United and Portugal.
In group A, less is at stake but Russia will be looking for at least a draw against Uruguay to top the group. Russia and uruguay are already through, Egypt and Saudi Arabia will be playing for honor.