Spain and Portugal both draw against respective opponents Morocco and Iran in Group B World Cup matches while Uruguay punished host Russia and Saudi Arabia beat Egypt in Group A matches.

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo in action against Iran at Mordovia Arena, Saransk, Russia on June 25, 2018.
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo in action against Iran at Mordovia Arena, Saransk, Russia on June 25, 2018. (Reuters)

Spain and Portugal have advanced to the World Cup Round of 16 after the final matches in Group B. 

Despite going down twice in the match against Morocco, Spain fought back draw thanks to goals from Isco and Iago Aspas and secured the top spot in the group. 

The match at Kaliningrad Stadium ended on a 2-2 draw. 

Spain advanced as group winners with 5 points, scoring more goals than Portugal. 

Portugal drew 1-1 against Iran after late drama at Mordovia Arena.

Portugal could not protect their advantage gained in the 45th minute by Ricardo Quaresma, who scored one of his trademark “trivela” shots.

Cristiano Ronaldo even missed a penalty kick in the 53rd minute. 

After a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) decision, Iran was awarded a penalty kick in the 90+3 minute, converted by Karim Ansarifard. 

Iran then missed a clear chance in the 96th minute to qualify. 

Portugal will face Uruguay in the Round of 16, while Spain will take on hosts Russia.

Uruguay punish sluggish Russia

Uruguay burnished their World Cup credentials with a 3-0 victory over 10-man Russia on Monday, finishing top of Group A with a perfect record while dampening the hopes of the tournament hosts, who had to settle for second. 

Luis Suarez grabbed his second goal of the tournament to open Uruguay’s account with a free kick after 10 minutes and they doubled the lead with an own goal from Russia’s Denis Cheryshev soon afterwards. 

That silenced a vociferous home crowd which had been in party mode after Russia’s opening two victories and were not expecting their final group contest to be effectively ended in the 36th minute when Igor Smolnikov was sent off.

TRT World's Lance Santos reports from Moscow.

Edinson Cavani bundled home a third goal for Uruguay at the death to wrap up their third straight victory, ensuring they finished above the Russians, who will now have to face the winners of Group B in the last 16. 

Uruguay, who kept their sixth straight clean sheet, will face the runners-up from Group B, which will be decided when Spain, Portugal and Iran battle it out for two last-16 spots later on Monday. 

While Russia had confounded those who predicted a group stage exit with resounding victories over Saudi Arabia and Egypt, there was still a question mark over how they would perform when they faced stronger opposition. 

Twice World Cup winners Uruguay offered them the chance to show they truly belonged among the elite, but it was an opportunity wasted, merely serving to give ammunition to the doubters. 

“I believe that when we had 10 people in the pitch, we were running and wanted to attack more,” said Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov. 

Yet while Smolnikov’s sending off may have ended Russia’s hopes of a third win, in truth the encounter had already swung decisively against them.

Saudi Arabia beat Egypt

In the other match in Group A, Saudi Arabia beat Mohamed Salah’s Egypt 2-1 in a matchup of two eliminated sides in Volgograd but the main talking point was Egypt goalkeeper Essam el-Hadary becoming the oldest player ever to appear in a World Cup. 

El Hadary, who is 45 years and 161 days old, smashed the record set by Colombia goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon, who was aged 43 years and three days when he played against Japan in Brazil in 2014. 

When he made his international debut in 1996, Ramadan Sobhy, who came on a substitute, was not even born. 

The veteran goalkeeper produced a stunning save from a Fahad al Muwallad penalty after Salah had given Egypt the lead with his second World Cup goal, but could not keep out another spot kick by Salman al Faraj in first-half injury time. 

The Saudis ended a dispiriting run of 12 World Cup matches without a win, recording their first victory at a finals since 1994 with a last-gasp winner from Salem al Dawsari.

Round of 16 qualifiers

Teams that have qualified for the last 16 of the World Cup after Monday’s final Group A and B matches, and those who have been eliminated:

Group A 

Qualified: Uruguay (winners), Russia (runners-up)

Eliminated: Saudi Arabia, Egypt

Group B 

Qualified: Spain (winners), Portugal (runners-up)

Eliminated: Iran, Morocco

Group C

Qualified: France
Eliminated: Peru
Still in contention: Denmark, Australia

Group D

Qualified: Croatia
Still in contention: Iceland, Nigeria, Argentina

Group E

Eliminated: Costa Rica
Still in contention: Brazil, Switzerland, Serbia

Group F

Still in contention: Mexico, Germany, Sweden, South Korea

Group G

Qualified: England, Belgium
Eliminated: Tunisia, Panama

Group H
Eliminated: Poland
Still in contention: Japan, Senegal, Colombia

Source: TRTWorld and agencies