"After Iran's opening 6-2 drubbing by England, Queiroz vented his fury over what he called harassment and political pressure that had distracted his team, who have been criticised for not speaking out strongly over the deaths of protesters, with some Iranians accusing them of siding with authorities. But in an astonishing turnaround, Iran beat Wales on Friday with two stoppage-time goals to get back in contention to reach the last 16 for the first time and face diplomatic rival the United States in a match that will decide the group. The Qatar World Cup has been mired in controversy since long before kick-off over the host country's approach to LGBTQ+ rights and its treatment of migrant workers, while some nations have locked horns with world governing body FIFA over its move to sanction players if they wear a "OneLove" arm-band on the pitch.
Asked if Barcelona forward Depay, who has recovered from a hamstring injury that sidelined him for two months prior to the World Cup but only started on the bench against Senegal or Ecuador, Van Gaal sounded a cautious tone. "We will not take risks with Memphis Depay, " Van Gaal said. "To become world champions we need Memphis so we will do anything and everything to make sure we progress to the next round because that's what it's all about.
They could still remain in contention with a draw, provided hosts Qatar beat three-times finalists Netherlands. "I come from a country where we don't like losing, " the Senegal manager said. "We're always hungry for that win. Not going to the round of 16 would be difficult to digest. "We're okay, we're dealing with the pressure and stress. For me, it's good stress. "Cisse's side lost 2-0 to the Dutch but beat Qatar 3-1 to keep alive their hopes of advancing. Ecuador's Enner Valencia celebrates with his team-mates "We understand that winning will allow us to continue on the adventure and that's exactly what we intend on doing, " Cisse said.
"We know in 2018 we were looking for a draw when maybe the points would play in our favour but this isn't the case tomorrow. "We've got a very strong and experienced team, they're a well-oiled machine. We've got the right mixture of veterans and players, players who are used to these types of challenges. "Team news Cody Gakpo celebrates with team-mate Daley Blind Memphis Depay will not be rushed back into the Netherlands starting line-up for their Group A match against hosts Qatar, manager Louis van Gaal said on Monday. Netherlands are joint top of the group on four points with Ecuador and the sides have identical records, so goal difference could well be needed to decide top spot. After two defeats Qatar will be playing only for pride on Tuesday, and on paper the Dutch should win handsomely.
USA captain Tyler Adams responds to a difficult line of questioning from an Iranian reporter over discrimination in the United States "I still believe I can win games with those mental games, " he told a news conference. "Those events surrounding this World Cup I hope will be a lesson for all of us in the future and we learn that our mission is here to create entertainment and for 90 minutes make people happy.
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"I think the whole Ecuadorean team is a great team, they are very aggressive and they defend well. I know that my team will be focused tomorrow. "Iran's Queiroz dismisses 'mental games' ahead of US battle Carlos Queiroz's Iran face the USA in their final group match Carlos Queiroz says he hopes the next World Cup would feature less about politics and more about football, stressing there were better ways to use the sport as a force for good. Queiroz's Iran team have been dragged into a political crisis at home, pressured by protesters seeking to challenge the legitimacy of the country's clerical rulers to side with them publicly and condemn a deadly state crackdown. Speaking ahead of his team's Group B match against the United States, Queiroz was asked about the US Soccer federation temporarily displaying Iran's national flag on social media without the emblem of the Islamic Republic, in solidarity with the protest movement.
Tuesday at the World Cup: Netherlands, Ecuador and Senegal seek to progress from Group AFelix Sanchez said he would not change a thing if he were to go back in time to before the start of the World Cup as Qatar end their campaign against the Netherlands. The host nation were the first to be eliminated from the finals after losing to Ecuador and Senegal, and they are playing the Netherlands on Tuesday in a game the European side need to win to advance to the last 16. Qatar are bottom of Group A with no points, while the Netherlands and Ecuador share the lead with four points, ahead of Senegal on three points.
Should Van Gaal's side finish second they could face England in the last 16. Van Gaal said he would be monitoring the score from the Ecuador-Senegal game and would "take measures" to chase goals if the situation arose. "I think it's straightforward, " Van Gaal said. "Of course I will keep tabs on the other game and I will be informed. But the fact of the matter is, if you want to become world champions you have to be capable to beat everyone. "Elsewhere on Tuesday, Senegal and Ecuador both look to secure their place in the round of 16 at the tournament - with the winners progressing - while all four nations can still qualify from Group B as England face Wales and Iran take on USA.
The 33-year-old forward has scored all three of Ecuador's goals in Qatar, adding to the three he netted in Brazil in 2014, and is key to their chances of reaching the knockout round for only the second time. "I hope he won't be playing tomorrow, " Cisse joked. "I don't really know [Valencia] in particular but I can see that he is a warrior and he'll want to be part of the team for a game like this.
Wales manager Rob Page has called on his players to put on a performance to be proud of against England but won't be drawn on whether he will start with Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey He has rediscovered his form this season though and already has eight goals for United, more than he managed in the whole of the last campaign, earning a place in Southgate's 26-man squad for the tournament in Qatar. "I'm happy to be enjoying my football. I'm not struggling with any injuries or niggles, " he said. "I can only be thankful for that.
"With Memphis I decide. It all depends on what I see. Memphis has to deliver as well. "Van Gaal said he was more than happy to continue with Vincent Janssen in attack despite questions being raised about the pedigree of the Antwerp player. Enner Valencia is stretchered off after sustaining a knee injury In the other game in Group A, Ecuador need a win or draw to qualify, after beating Qatar 2-0 and outplaying the Dutch in a 1-1 draw to go joint top. Ecuador are sweating on the fitness of captain Enner Valencia after he was carried off late in the Netherlands draw with a recurrence of a knee strain.
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"Cisse: Senegal welcome pressure of decisive Ecuador clash Senegal's head coach Aliou Cisse is staying calm Aliou Cisse said his Senegal team are expected to reach the World Cup knockout stages due to their status as African champions but his players are adapting to the pressure well. Having reached the quarter-finals on their World Cup debut in 2002, Senegal were eliminated in the group stage on fair play points four years ago in Russia. Senegal need to beat Ecuador in their final Group A game on Tuesday to qualify for the last 16.
"It was a feeling that was mutual amongst the group - that we could have done better. When you don't win it's disappointing but we can't be so negative about it. Daniel Sturridge shares his thoughts on Gareth Southgate's squad and the forwards England possess "It's not often teams win all three games. If we can beat Wales then it will considered a good start. "Gareth Southgate's side will reach the last 16 unless they lose by a four-goal margin to Wales who last beat England in 1984 and victory will ensure they are group winners. Rashford, who played in the Euro 2020 final, was out of the England picture for 15 months as injuries and a loss of form and confidence saw his career plateau.