Iran 1-1 Portugal

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Portugal won 2-0 thanks to goals from Deco and Cristiano Ronaldo - it was Ronaldo's first ever goal in the tournament.

Portugal have finished runners-up of Group B at the World Cup after drawing Iran 1-1 in Saransk, and will play Uruguay, the winners of Group A, in the last 16 on Saturday, but nearly lost at the end.

Asked if he had a plan to stop Ronaldo, a player he knows well from United and Portugal, he would only say that Iran would stick to their philosophy of the "three Rs": respect for their opponents, realism about their own strengths and weaknesses and a romantic view of how good teams beat good individuals.

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Portugal will look to seal their place in the Round of 16 when they meet Iran at the Mordovia Arena on Monday.

As pointed out above it's not fazed him before though, as when PSG fans tried to disturb he and his Real Madrid colleagues, Ronaldo scored a header in a 2-1 Champions League last 16 second leg win in the French capital.

Portugal have made three changes for this one. It was a gilt-edged opportunity and one that should have been tucked away by an Iran side who played with heart under Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz.

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Iran, needing a win to have any realistic chance of advancing to the knockouts for the first time, were well organised at the back and defended stoically but did not have enough men going forward. "In my seven-year career, the Portugal match is the most interesting and important match for me", Queiroz told the reporters in training camp in Moscow. Incredible! That is a classic World Cup goal.

VAR was also used to award Spain a late equaliser in their game meaning the 2010 World Cup winners leapfrogged Portugal as group winners. A few more goals against Iran would push Ronaldo into the lead and bolster the already sky-high confidence of the player ahead of a potential round of sixteen game against Uruguay or Russian Federation. Portugal defender Pepe, a long-time team-mate of Ronaldo's at Real, said it was a "privilege" for the country to have a player such as the five-time Ballon d'Or victor. Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone, the former Argentina midfielder, even indicated he would prefer to have Ronaldo rather than Messi in his team.

Both sides have faced each other only once.

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