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Milad Mohammadi: Iran’s World Cup defender with the viral throw-in

Coming to the 2022 World Cup, Iran faces an uphill battle to qualify in Group B, despite bringing several players of individual quality to the squad.

The likes of Sardar Azmoun, Mehdi Taremi and Saman Ghoddos are among the biggest performers and are regular starters when fit, but another who became a household name four years ago was Milad Mohammadi.

Mohammadi, a left-back who now plays at club level in Greece, made his mark at Russia 2018 with one of the most inexplicable moments in World Cup folklore.

After his team fell behind against Spain in the second game of the group stage, Mohammadi decided this was his moment to shine and produce his specialty: a throw-in with a polygon move.

Iran had just seconds to equalize in the game, following a Diego Costa goal, but as team-mates filled the area, Mohammadi shot headlong to the touchline – and then fell back at the last moment , by falling short without actually releasing the ball.

Aside from the spectators’ amusement, needless to say there were few positives from the attempt, robbing his side of any real chance to gain momentum in the closing stages.

In fact, he sent his follow-up attempt at the throw-in much shorter to a nearby teammate after giving a stern cue from the referee.

Why he might have wasted time when his team was behind is unclear.

Mohammadi may have represented Iran in their opening game against England but three goals down at half-time mean a last-ditch effort of the same style is unlikely to fail.

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