Iran held Portugal 1-1 in their final Group B match on Monday but couldn’t stop Cristiano Ronaldo’s men from entering the FIFA World Cup 2018 last 16.

Iran coach Carlos Queiroz said Cristiano Ronaldo was fortunate to escape a red card despite a VAR review following an elbow in a the draw match. Portugal will face Uruguay in the last 16 after advancing as runners-up of Group B, but Queiroz insisted Ronaldo deserved to be sent off for catching Iran defender Morteza Pouraliganji with an elbow to the face.

“I don’t want to talk too much, it’s about my country and a player. I know it’ll be a war against me,” said Queiroz, who coached his native
Portugal at the 2010 World Cup.

“But the reality is you stopped the game for VAR, there is an elbow. An elbow is a red card in the rules. In the rules it doesn’t say if it is (Lionel) Messi or Ronaldo…”

It was a busy evening for the video assistant referee in Saransk as two penalties were awarded upon review, on top of the Ronaldo altercation.

“We accepted human mistakes before, that was part of the game. Players make mistakes, coaches make mistakes and referees make mistakes,” said Queiroz.

“But now you have one system that cost a fortune. It’s high-tech with five, six people inside and what happens? Nobody takes responsibilities.

“We need to be like rugby. When there is a decision by VAR I need to know what the referee is saying to them, people need to know what is going on.”

“So in my opinion, Mr. Infantino and FIFA, everybody agreed that VAR is not going well,” he added. “That’s the reality, there’s a lot of complaints.”

Ricardo Quaresma struck a brilliant opening goal with a trademark curling effort using the outside of his right foot on the stroke of half-time.

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