Wales aim to emulate England against Iran


Welsh striker Kieffer Moore plans to torment Iran in the air when the two sides meet in the second round of Group B games – just like England did.

Gareth Southgate’s side beat Iran six times in their World Cup opener, with the Iranians having no answer to England’s air power.

The 196cm (6ft 5in) Moore watched the first half of this game before Wales headed into their first tournament – a 1-1 draw against the United States.

He is confident of wreaking more havoc on the Iranian defense when the teams meet on Friday (9:00 p.m. AEDT).

“They wrestled in the air,” Moore said. “You could see England’s dominance in the box. They took the lead straight away and that set the tone for the game.

“If we can replicate that, hopefully we get the same result.”

Wales are looking to qualify for the knockout stages for the first time since 1958 – their last World Cup appearance – while Iran have never progressed beyond the group stage.

The Asian side have won just one of their last 11 matches at the tournament, a 1-0 win over Morocco four years ago.

Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand sustained a head injury early in England’s 6-2 win after colliding with team-mate Majid Hosseini.

Manager Carlos Queiroz had his head in his hands when Beiranvand came off, and the first-choice keeper is unlikely to play against Wales.

“If they lose their No. 1 keeper, it’s going to be tough for another person to come in,” Moore said.

“It means a rejig for them and it plays into our hands.”

Bournemouth striker Moore turned the tide in Wales’ opener against the United States after being introduced at half-time.

Wales trailed 1-0 after a terrible 45 minutes, failing to create a single chance with forwards Gareth Bale and Daniel James completely isolated.

But Moore’s presence gave them a focal point to create attacks and pressure, which ended with Bale winning a penalty and equalizing from the spot eight minutes from time, his fourth major league goal for the Wales.

“I wanted to push myself into the game and do what I could, so hopefully I’ll be able to start on Friday,” Moore said.

If he does line up against Iran, he will face opponents who have been busy learning from that heavy opening game defeat.

“We win or learn,” Queiroz said.

“We had the privilege of learning a lot today with the English team and we are much better prepared now to play against Wales.

“Being 3-0 down, our team’s only objective was to enjoy the game and be part of a time when we should stay brave, united, fight and try to play our football.”

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