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Iran have emerged as the early challengers to Spain and Portugal in Group B after Aziz Bouhaddouz's 95th-minute own-goal sealed a dramatic 1-0 win in Saint Petersburg.

On Friday the Iranian diaspora from around the world flocked to St Petersburg for Iran's curtain raiser in Russian Federation against Herve Renard's Morocco.

"We are not ever using apologies or justifications, we are using the difficulties as a source of inspiration for our motivations to be strengthened during the games", said Queiroz.

"Mr Queiroz is always full of surprises, but since the draw we have given a lot of thought to the Iran team".

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That chance seemed to give Iran belief they could get a result at the Krestovsky Stadium, something that came to pass as substitute Bouhaddouz sent a bullet header past his own goalkeeper in the dying embers of the game.

This comes as Iran has faced sweeping criticism against Iranian women being banned from attending football matches.

Images of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani were shared on social media on Friday night showing him watching his country's World Cup game against Morocco.

Ironically, the repressive regime in Iran discriminates against women every day, including not allowing them inside sporting venues since the 1979 revolution.

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Their performance lends support to the demands for a two-tier Test format, which could get them battle-ready for future series. Afghanistan coach Phil Simmons said his "team has a mountain to climb" before it emerges as a strong Test playing nation.

"We've been working and observing for over six months, we've been deciphering all their matches for the last two years", he added.

First, they were picked in possibly the toughest group at the World Cup. "For us and Morocco, it is a must-win game".

Doing so may be a big ask up against the competition's top scorer to date, Cristiano Ronaldo, and up against Iran, who provided an upset against Morocco on Friday. It is now on a run of 18 games unbeaten, including games against World Cup teams Serbia, Nigeria, South Korea and Egypt. This was in sharp contrast to the scene witnessed at one of the main squares in Tehran where no women were seen in the crowd of fans cheering for their team.

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Mr Trump also used language often employed by North Korea to describe those exercises, calling them "provocative" and "war games". It would be good for the world if the president is right when he tweets, "There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea ".


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