If either Iran or Morocco advance to the World Cup knockout rounds, it would rank as one of the biggest shocks of the group stages, regardless of whatever else happens in Russia over the next couple of weeks.
The Asian and north African sides find themselves in Group B alongside 2010 world champions Spain and the reigning European champions Portugal.
This meant that the opening match between Iran and Morocco in Saint Petersburg on Friday afternoon was pivotal for both of the unfancied teams.
Victory for either nation would significantly boost their chances of escaping the group.
Defeat, on the other hand, would almost certainly spell the end of that nation’s hopes of progressing any further at this summer’s World Cup finals.
Morocco started the first half on top and initially appeared to have too much quality for their opponents to withstand.
However, Iran gradually found their feet as the first half wore on and should have taken the lead shortly before the break when Sardar Azmoun found himself one-on-one with Morocco goalkeeper Monir El Kajoui, who produced a superb double save. No goals were scored and the two teams went into half-time all square.
Amiri's bizarre throw-in technique sparks debate
One of the biggest talking points from the opening 45 minutes, however, involved Iran’s Vahid Amiri.
The 30-year-old’s bizarre throw-in technique confused just about every football fan on social media. They couldn’t understand why referee Cuneyt Cakir was failing to blow his whistle for a foul throw. Watch it here...
It’s still unclear whether or not this technique is legal, although some people reckon it is.
Both feet are on the ground, he’s behind the line, the ball comes from behind and over the head - so maybe it’s fine?
Full marks for innovation if it's legal
It would certainly explain why the Turkish match officials refused to penalise Iran’s number 11.
Full marks to Amiri for innovation if it is a legal throw-in.
He shaped up as if he was about to launch a Rory Delap-style rocket into the box but then, at the last moment, crouched down and picked out his nearest teammate.
You've got to love the World Cup.
Should throw-ins like this be allowed? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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