Portugal look set to advance to the 2018 World Cup knockout stage after a shocking early exit in Brazil in 2014, but first they need to get past a really solid Iran team that is seeking its first-ever spot in the Round of 16.
In the United States, the game is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on both Fox (English broadcast) and Telemundo (Spanish broadcast). If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch the game–and every other World Cup game–live on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
Fox (live in most markets) and Telemundo are both included in the “Fubo Premier” bundle, which has a channel package that is largely tailored towards international soccer fans and also has World Cup live streams available in 4K. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial right here, and you can then watch any World Cup game live on your computer via the FuboTV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the FuboTV app.
If you can’t watch the game live, FuboTV comes with 30 hours of Cloud DVR (with the ability to upgrade to 500 hours), as well as a “72-Hour Lookback” feature, which allows you to watch any World Cup game up to three days after it airs even if you forgot to record it.
In addition to a Netflix-like on-demand streaming library, Hulu also offers a bundle of live TV channels, including both Fox (live in most markets) and Telemundo. You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch every World Cup game live on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
If you can’t watch the game live, “Hulu with Live TV” also comes with 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage (with the ability to upgrade to “Enhanced Cloud DVR,” which gives you 200 hours of DVR space and the ability to fast forward through commercials), allowing you to watch any game after it airs.
Fox (but not Telemundo) is included in the “Sling Blue” package. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial of both, and you can then watch any World Cup game live on your computer via the Sling TV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app.
If you can’t watch a game live, you can get 50 hours of cloud DVR storage as an additional add-on.
Through two games, Portugal is sitting on four points after a 3-3 draw against Spain and a 1-0 win against Morocco, while Iran has three points following their 1-0 win over Morocco and 1-0 defeat against Spain.
That makes things pretty clear heading into this one.
For Portugal, all they need is a draw to advance. There are a few different scenarios in which they can win the group depending on what Spain does in their game against Morocco, but getting into the Round of 16 is the important part, and one point is all they need to guarantee that.
As for Iran, they almost assuredly need a win. A draw could work if Spain somehow loses to Morocco by two or more goals, but the odds of that happening are similar to the amount of goals Morocco have scored (for themselves, at least) this World Cup. So, yeah, the goal for Carlos Queiroz’s squad has to be three points.
When it comes to the match itself, you can expect Iran to bunker down defensively, let Portugal control possession, and then hope to hit on the counter-attack for a goal. It worked against Morocco, as they got the win despite having just 32 percent of the possession, and it very nearly worked against a far more talented Spain side, as they only gave up the one somewhat flukey goal and had a couple of really good chances on the attack.
As such, it will be interesting to see how aggressive Portugal plays this one. As previously mentioned, a draw will suffice, so there’s no real need to go full-out in attack, but at the same, bad things tend to happen to teams that get too conservative.
All-in-all, this stacks up as a really interesting match. Portugal are favored, but Iran, who really have nothing to lose as such a big underdog, proved against Spain they can hang with the world’s best.