Wales keeper Wayne Hennessey was sent off in the Group B match against Iran, becoming the first player to see a red card in the Qatar World Cup.
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In the 85th minute, Iran’s Mehdi Taremi broke clear of the Wales defence and was making a run toward the Wales goal. Sensing danger, Hennessey came out of the box, in an attempt to reach the ball before Taremi. However, Hennessey lost the race, and Taremi knocked the ball past Hennessey.
In an attempt to stop Taremi, Hennessey challenged the Iran forward, clearing him out in the process.
Mario Escobar, the match referee, initially showed a yellow card for Hennessey for the foul. But VAR, which looked at the incident, advised Escobar to have a look at the monitor. After this, he overturned his initial decision and changed the yellow card to red.
Hennessey was replaced by Danny Ward between the sticks and Aaron Ramsey was the player who was sacrificed by head coach Rob Page.
Hennessey becomes only the third goalkeeper to see a red card in the World Cup after Itumeleng Khune for South Africa vs Uruguay in 2010 and Gianluca Pagliuca for Italy vs Norway in 1994.
The goalkeeper’s red card proved to be the catalyst for Iran’s win as the Asian side went on to score twice in the injury time to seal a dramatic and famous win.
This was the 174th red card in the World Cup, with Michael Lang of Switzerland the recipient of the last one, in 2018 against Sweden.
Only two players have ever seen a red card twice in their World Cup career, with Cameroon’s Rigobert Song and France’s Zinedine Zidane being the two.