Iran scored twice in stoppage time to break a scoreless stalemate and snatch a stunning 2-0 win over Wales at the World Cup in Qatar.
The team had been facing elimination if they lost on November 25, four days after having been thrashed 6-2 by England in their opener.
The win moves Iran to three points in Group B, two more than Wales who were held to a 1-1 draw by the United States in their opener. England and the U.S. facing each other later on November 25.
Before their second match, the Iranian players linked arms and murmured the Islamic Republic Anthem, after remaining silent in their opening game in an apparent sign of support of anti-government protesters back home.
Outside the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, the Associated news agency said some Iran fans confiscated pre-revolutionary Iranian flags from supporters and shouted insults at those wearing shirts with “Woman, Life, Freedom.”
Shouting matches erupted between fans shouting the slogan of the country’s protest movement and others screaming “The Islamic Republic.”
Fans were quoted as saying that stadium security removed items with messages in support of the protest movement that has swept Iran for more than two months.
Iranian security forces have responded with brutal force to suppress the demonstrations demanding more freedoms and women's rights.
At least 416 people, including 51 children and 27 women, have been killed in the brutal crackdown by security forces on the protests, according to one human rights group. Thousands of people have also been arrested.
At least six have so far been sentenced to death over the demonstrations that have marked one of the boldest challenges to its clerical rulers since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.