If you were drawing up the worst possible way to lose a World Cup soccer game, it would look something like how Morocco went down to Iran on Friday.
After 94 minutes of scoreless play, Iran took a free kick in the waning moments of stoppage time, attempting to steal a victory and an early lead in Group B. The ball entered the box, where Aziz Bouhaddouz employed perfect header form to knock the ball into the net. The catch? Bouhaddouz plays for Morocco, not Iran. And he is now responsible for the latest regulation own goal in World Cup history.
Heartbreak for Morocco!
Bouhaddouz heads it into his own net in stoppage time to give Iran the lead. pic.twitter.com/7FA7Migvk5
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 15, 2018
— Paul Carr (@PaulCarrTM) June 15, 2018
For Iran, it was the second World Cup victory in national history (their first? Naturally, over the USA in 1998). And for a Morocco team that desperately needed a win to have any shot of advancing past the group stage, it was a truly devastating defeat. It’s bad to lose on an own goal, and it’s bad to lose in the final seconds, but to lose on an own goal in the final seconds is almost unfathomable.
How do you even recover from something like that? Can you? We’ll find out Wednesday when Morocco returns to the pitch Wednesday to face Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal.