FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Day 6: Live updates, scores, news, results, Wales vs Iran, Qatar vs Senegal, Netherlands vs Ecuador, England vs USA

The action continues in Qatar after two World Cup contenders put their stamp on proceedings during day 5.

Some tantalising contests are on the agenda, with England to take the field as hopes once again begin to grow among fans.

In Group A, Netherlands will take on Ecuador with the winner assured of moving out of the group stage and into the knockout rounds.

In Group B, Wales will be out to crush Iran’s dreams of advancing and will be hoping England can return the favour and take care of business against the USA.

A win for England and they’ll lock in their place in the knockout rounds.

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10.15pm (AEDT) – Posts save Wales’ bacon

Iran have been cruelly denied by the posts, not once … but twice in the second half.

Sardar Azmoun broke beyond the Wales line and ran towards goal only for his shot on goal to smash into the right post and bounce out.

Moments later another shot on goal slammed into the left post before Wales keeper Wayne Hennessey was able to snap the ball up.

10pm (AEDT) – Iran miss out in dominant half

Iran found the back of the net in the opening half but the goal was ruled out after VAR ruled Ali Gholizadeh to be offside.

Wales had a decent chance to take the lead through Kieffer Moore but his shot was saved by Hossein Hosseini. Moore hit the deck and remained down as replays showed he cop a stray boot to the face.

Wales dominated possession in the first half, but it was Iran who had the better looking opportunities, but couldn’t capitalise.

9pm (AEDT) – Wild scenes during Iranian national anthem

During Iran’s opening game of the 2022 World Cup, the playing group refused to participate when the nation’s anthem was blaring out across the stadium.

On Friday, before their match against Wales kicked off, the team joined in, however in the stands the fans unleashed a chorus of boos.

The noise coming from the Iran supporters almost drowned out the speakers as the whistling and jeering reached incredible levels.

As cameras panned around the stadium, two fans were spotted breaking down in the middle of the anthem being played.

The Iranian players had stood impassively during their anthem before their 6-2 defeat to England on Monday in an apparent gesture of solidarity with anti-government protesters in the Islamic republic.

Many believed the display on Friday was a more forced effort rather than being in the national spirit.

An AFP photographer at the stadium on Friday witnessed security staff confiscating a flag from a fan with the protest slogan: “Woman, Life, Freedom.”

Iran forward Mehdi Taremi denied on Thursday that his team had come “under pressure” from their government to sing the anthem at the World Cup.

“I don’t like to talk about political issues, but we are not under any pressure,” Taremi said on the eve of the Wales game.

Iran has been shaken by two months of nationwide protests since the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in morality police custody on September 16.

Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian of Kurdish origin, died three days after her arrest in Tehran over an alleged breach of the dress code for women, which includes the mandatory hijab headscarf.

The crackdown since Amini’s death has left at least 400 people dead, according to Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights.

The state’s response has led to questions over whether the team represents Iran or the regime that has ruled with an iron fist since the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

An Iranian official made a chilling threat to the players if they continued to snub the national anthem following their first game.

Former Iranian intelligence chief turned senior politician Mehdi Chamran warned of punishment for the team.

Chamran – a conservative hardliner who is now the head of the Tehran city council – said: “We will never allow anyone to insult our anthem and flag.

“Iranian civilisation has a history of several thousand years, this civilisation is as old as the total of European and American civilisations.”

The Guardian reported that other top Iranian politicians had called for the team to be totally replaced by new players who are “willing to sing the national anthem”.

– with AFP

8:30pm (AEDT) – Damning Neymar footage

Footage has shown Neymar unable to put any weight at all on his ankle after injuring it during Brazil’s victory over Serbia.

The Brazil talisman was forced off in the second half following a heavy tackle from Nikola Milenkovic.

Neymar was visibly upset as he trudged off the pitch and broke down into tears on the bench.

His ankle was massively swollen with the team doctor revealing the Paris Saint-Germain star had suffered “trauma”.

He added that they will need “24 to 48 hours” to assess the problem, though manager Tite was more optimistic.

“Don’t worry, Neymar will play the World Cup. He will keep playing, you can be sure about that,” he said.

Neymar was later spotted walking very gingerly as a result of the ankle issue and wore flip-flops as he left the stadium.

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The former Barcelona star remained tight-lipped on his injury in a social media message after the game.

It read: “Tough game but it’s very important to get the win. Congrats team, first step done … 6 more to go.”

But the Brazil star looked very upset as he watched on from the bench and is at risk of having his World Cup cut short once again.

At the Brazil World Cup in 2014 Neymar also suffered an ankle injury and was unable to play in Brazil’s semi-final defeat to Germany.

It is possible Neymar will be left out of Brazil’s remaining group games against Switzerland and Cameroon as a win will be enough to send them through.

Tite also has plenty of options in attack with Real Madrid forward Rodrygo and Arsenal pair Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli all coming on to play a part in the win over Serbia.

– Kealan Hughes, The Sun

Originally published as FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Day 6 live updates: Wales vs Iran

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