Portugal through after dramatic Iran draw

Iran contest not all about Ronaldo insists Santos

Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal and 2010 winners Spain progressed to the World Cup knockout rounds on a Monday night of high drama dominated by VAR decisions after host nation Russian Federation and Uruguay also qualified. In my opinion, Mr Infantino and FIFA, VAR is not going well.

VAR works great when it catches a simple error, like the Spain goal in which Aspas was clearly not offside.

But there is no doubt that his standards have slipped at the World Cup.

First, Spain were rightly awarded a last-minute equaliser against Morocco upon review before Iran scored a dubious injury-time penalty to deny Portugal top spot.

Thank your lucky stars Cristiano Ronaldo didn't score it - he'd still be doing a lap of honour in his trousers!

Hundreds of Iranian fans surrounded the hotel where Portugal's national team is based, making loud noises for several hours overnight in an attempt to disrupt their opponents' sleep before a decisive World Cup match later Monday. "You have one system which costs a fortune.and nobody takes responsibility". Pique, meanwhile, risked a red card with a two-footed lunge in the opening 10 minutes of the game that fortunately made no contact with Boutaib.

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The Portugal captain scored a hat-trick in his side's 3-3 draw with Spain in the first game round, and also found the back of the net in A Selecao's 1-0 win over Morocco in their second fixture.

All of a sudden, VAR had been revealed to be just like any other replay system: a process meant to reduce the number of controversies by correcting human error was now only adding to the controversies because there was still human judgment involved.

The five-time Ballon d'Or victor is in red-hot form, scoring four in his first two games and coming off breaking the record for the most worldwide goals scored by a European player.

Portugal will face Uruguay in Sochi on July 30 for a place in the quarter-finals after ending Iran's hopes of reaching the knockout phase for the first time. But after the game all of the discussion surrounded referee Enrique Caceres and his application of VAR during the course of the game.

That's not how it works, though.

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