Iran, Wales goalless; USMNT clashes with England

The 2022 World Cup has reached the second round of group matches.

And Black Friday will see one of the most anticipated showdowns of the tournament as the United States take on England. This is the first World Cup duel between the two sides since 2010 when they drew 1-1.

The young and talented Americans drew 1-1 against Wales in Monday’s World Cup opener. The USMNT faces a tough task on Friday against an English team looking well past the group stage.

On Thursday, tournament favorites Brazil beat Serbia 2-0 thanks to Richarlison’s previous World Cup goal. Cristiano Ronaldo made history by becoming the first men’s player to score in five different World Cups.

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Tim Weah of the United States attends a training session on the eve of the Group B game against England at Al-Gharafa SC Stadium in Doha, Qatar.

Tim Weah of the United States attends a training session on the eve of the Group B game against England at Al-Gharafa SC Stadium in Doha, Qatar.

Cruel crossbar: Iran hits the post twice

Iran’s two best chances so far came early in the second half when Sardar Azmoun attempted to escape. The striker spun past the Welsh defense but his shot deflected off the right post. Teammate Ali Gholizadeh followed up with a second shot from the left post.

Iran sings the national anthem

Before the game, Iranian players sang the national anthem after skipping the tradition in their first game against England.

In fact, at this World Cup, it’s possible to stand up for what’s right, even when it’s not in your best interest.

Hours after European football authorities gave in to threats from FIFA over plans to show a small show of support for the LGBTQ community, Iranian players risked the wrath of their government by refusing to perform the national anthem before Monday’s game to sing. The European teams pulled out, terrified of jeopardizing their World Cup chances, while the Iranian players pressed on despite knowing that security forces at home were arresting, beating, shooting at and even killing those who did it dared to protest against the World Cup Death of Mahsa Amini. — wrote Nancy Armor on Monday

What does this game mean for USMNT?

With Iran and Wales in a group with England and the USA, what is the best result for the USMNT? Yahoo Sports reporter Henry Bushnell ranked the most favorable results:

Iran, Wales drew 0-0 at half-time

Both teams had their chances in the first half. While Wales dominated the ball possession statistics and often advanced into the attacking third, Iran took advantage of the counterattack. Iran built into the game, taking advantage of the sunshine in the eyes of Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey.

Iran had two chances in stoppage time. The first game after a cross from Ezatolahi, but Azmoun failed to arrive at the end of the pass. The second came when Rodon fouled Taremi and Iran awarded a free kick. After bouncing dangerously around the box, the ball bounced to Nourollahi, whose long-range shot was saved by Hennessey.

Iran were trailing 3-0 at half-time against England on Monday. If the team loses to Wales, they are effectively eliminated from the tournament with one game left.

Bale’s shot is blocked for Wales

Wales star Gareth Bale got a left foot on a header pass from 6-foot-5 Kieffer Moore, Hosseini stands upright and makes the save. Wales have had the ball so far, but Iran make the most of the break.

Wales forward Gareth Bale reacts during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between Wales and Iran at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha.

Wales forward Gareth Bale reacts during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between Wales and Iran at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha.

Iran’s opening goal disallowed

Wales received early warning after Iran struck first. Sardar Azmoun sent a through ball to Ali Gholizaduh who was ruled offside with a simple tap.

The goal was quickly disallowed.

Starting line-ups Wales vs. Iran

Five changes for Iran since Monday, the most notable being in goal. Alireza Beiranvand is out after suffering an apparent head injury in the 6-2 defeat by England. Hossein Hosseini starts in goal. Iran also added a more defensive shape to their formation.

Iran Starting XI (4-3-3): Hosseini; Mohammadi, Hosseini, Pouraliganji, Rezaeian; Hajsafi, Ezatolahi, Nourollahi; Taremi, Azmoun, Gholizadeh

Forward Daniel James will take over from Kieffer Moore for Wales.

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Wales vs Iran – 5am

Wales snapped a draw from the jaws of defeat with a late penalty goal against the United States on Monday and will look to carry that momentum into a match-up against an Iran side who were routed by England. To make matters worse, goalkeeper Ali Beiranvand is set to miss Friday’s game, giving likely substitute Hossein Hosseini a tall order against Wales star Gareth Bale.

Time: Friday, November 25 at 5 p.m. ET

Stadion: Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium

How to see: FS1 and Telemundo or stream on fuboTV and Peacock (Spanish)

Qatar vs. Senegal – 8am

Qatar made history by opening the World Cup on Sunday, becoming the first host country to lose the opening match. It was a poor performance against Ecuador and the defeat puts Qatar in jeopardy of becoming even the second host after South Africa in 2010 to be eliminated in the group stage. Friday’s task will not be easy as Senegal have players from the top divisions of England, Spain, Italy and France, although absent injured striker Sadio Mane.

Time: Friday, November 25 at 8 p.m. ET

Stadion: Al Thumama Stadium

How to see: FS1 and Telemundo or stream on fuboTV and Peacock (Spanish)

Netherlands vs Ecuador – 11am

This duel could very well determine the winner of Group A. Buoyed by a brace from striker Enner Valencia, Ecuador disappointed the hosts with a 2-0 win in the World Cup opener on Sunday. The Netherlands win a 2-0 win against a Senegal who has tremendous talent. A win here would further cement the Netherlands’ expected status as World Cup contenders.

Time: Friday, November 25 at 11 a.m. ET

Stadion: Khalifa International Stadium

How to see: FOX and Telemundo or Stream on fuboTV and Peacock (Spanish)

England vs USA – 2pm

The tournament reached a crucial turning point for both teams as the USMNT opened with a 1-1 draw against Wales and England, who defeated Iran 6-2 in the World Cup opener. While a win could take England one step closer to winning Group B, the USA will look to at least keep hopes of reaching Round 16 alive. A win or a draw would put the Americans in a good position to be one of the two teams going through. However, this is a loaded England team with hopes well beyond reaching the knockout stages.

Time: Friday, November 25 at 2pm ET

Stadion: Al Bayt Stadium

How to see: FOX and Telemundo or Stream on fuboTV and Peacock (Spanish)

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: World Cup Updates: USMNT meets England in crucial Group B game

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