England – Iran (6-2) must have been one of the longest group matches ever at a World Cup. The Brazilian referee Raphael Claus allowed no less than 27 minutes to pass: fourteen minutes in the first half, thirteen minutes in the second half. There was also a lot of injury time in the other World Cup matches.
That fourteen minutes of extra time were added in England before half-time – Iran had to do with the long-term injury treatment of Iranian goalkeeper Ali Beiranvand. The former goalkeeper of Antwerp collided hard with teammate Majid Hosseieni and received care on the field for a very long time. He tried to continue playing, but eventually went back to the grass and had to go to the side with a head injury.
In the second half, the race management eagerly added minutes. Five goals, eleven substitutions… It was the reason for Claus to add another ten minutes. Because Mehdi Taremi scored from the spot after a VAR intervention deep in that injury time, the whistle was finally blown in the 103rd minute. So in total good for 27 extra minutes. According to data agency Opta, a goal has never been scored so late in a regular match without extra time at World Cups. Later in the day, Klaassen scored in the 9th minute of stoppage time against Senegal.
“Nine minutes of stoppage time will become normal during this World Cup”
Also in the final match between the US and Wales, ten minutes were played smoothly at the end of a match without any noteworthy incidents. No surprise for those who had listened to the announcement of Pierluigi Collina, FIFA’s referee boss, beforehand. “We will calculate the injury time very carefully and try to make up for lost time,” said Collina in the run-up to the World Cup. “We don’t want there to be only 42 or 43 minutes of active play in a half, that’s not acceptable. The time lost due to goal celebrations, substitutions, injuries or red cards must always be made up. Seven, eight, nine minutes of stoppage time will become normal during this World Cup.”