Los Angeles Times
GROUP B: WALES VS. IRAN
Where: Ahmed bin Ali Stadium
Time: 2 a.m. PST Friday
TV: FS1, Telemundo, Peacock Premium
The buzz: A Gareth Bale penalty kick in the closing minutes rescued Wales in a 1-1 draw with the U.S. And it may have just rescued the country’s World Cup, its first in 64 years. A victory over Iran (0-1), which appeared distracted by deadly street protests back home in a 6-2 loss to England, would leave Wales (0-0-1) no worse than tied for second with a game to go in the group stage. But the Welsh will have to start better than they did against the Americans, who dominated the first half. Iran made the short trip to Qatar with high expectations but was thoroughly outplayed by England, which had 79% possession and forced Iran into misfiring on a third of its 215 passes. Iran’s players opened their World Cup by standing silently during their country’s national anthem, refusing to sing.