Bad luck proved to be Iran's downfall on the pitch on Wednesday, as a fortuitous Diego Costa goal saw them succumb 1-0 to Spain, but it was an historic day for them nonetheless as their fans emerged as the real victors.
In the 36 hours before kick-off in Kazan, Tatarstan's capital city had been taken over by 15,000 Iranian supporters.
It was impossible to escape the incessant blasts of their airhorns throughout the city, those very same horns which later made it feel as though the vuvuzelas of the 2010 World Cup had made an unlikely comeback during the match.
Whether you were attempting to sleep in your hotel room or hoping for a peaceful wander around Kazan's spectacular Kremlin, there was no escaping the noise of the Iran supporters.
Seems to be a far greater #IRN presence than #ESP in Kazan today. A bunch of them were visiting the city’s remarkable Kremlin a little earlier, making a fair amount of noise. #WorldCup @OmnisportNews pic.twitter.com/2c7ZAaxtFd— Ryan Benson (@RyanRyanBenson) June 20, 2018
But there was so much more to their presence than the incredible, deafening racket they had concocted all day and all night. Forget their street dancing, their infectious songs and the smiles which could span the width of the Volga.
Easily the most striking element of Iran's immense support – not only in Kazan, but in Russia in general – has been the sheer number of women in attendance.
A bizarre thing to dwell for the vast majority of us, but in Iran it has been a key subject of debate, for women have been unable to attend stadiums for nearly four decades.
Having originally been implemented in 1980 following the Islamic revolution a year earlier, the ban on men and women sharing a stadium at the same time has sparked numerous protests and demonstrations, particularly coming to a head earlier this year when a female group disguised themselves before being rounded up by security.
The number of Iranian women in Kazan was first noticeable at the FIFA Fan Fest on Tuesday during Russia's 3-1 win over Egypt, flags draped across their backs just as proudly as their brothers.
One female supporter told Omnisport: "I've never been to a stadium before and I really want everyone to feel the excitement, because it's a totally different feeling.
"I feel really bad for them [those at home who cannot attend the stadium] and it's for no reason. They can watch it [the football] on TV, which shows there's nothing wrong with it."
Another Iranian said: "It's very sad women can't watch soccer in Iran. There are so many here to cheer on the Iran team.
"I hope in the future Iranian women will be able to watch football games in their own country."
Little did they know that, about 24 hours later, their sisters back at home would watch football alongside men inside a stadium.
An event was planned at short notice for supporters to go to the Azadi in Tehran and watch the match with Spain on big screens and, although it was briefly cancelled due to "infrastructure difficulties", security eventually led them in.
After just under 38 years, women were finally allowed into the Azadi and they supported their team, each cheer, sigh and gasp relieving some of the weight of almost four decades of oppression.
Understandably the attentions of the world have been on Russia and how they cope with – and host – the World Cup.
But after taking this first step, it is arguably the Iran fans who will make the most lasting impression at Russia 2018.
|Neymar is the Kim Kardashian of football, claims Barton|
|We did not want to sell him - Perez insists Madrid got ´highest value´ for Ronaldo|
|Osaka continues run, Pliskova awaits in Tokyo final|
|Cardinals keep pace in wildcard race with win over Giants|
|Djokovic hits Federer, pair lose in doubles at Laver Cup|
|Nowitzki likely to come off bench for Mavericks in 21st season|
|Red Wings´ Green battling ´virus that attacked his liver´|
|They said I couldn´t score goals – Ibrahimovic hits back at early critics|
|Slater charged, set to miss Grand Final|
|Rose not changing approach alongside Woods|
|Woods ready to ´hang in there´ at East Lake|
|Shaqiri´s time will come at Liverpool – Klopp|
|Richarlison: I used to copy some of Neymar´s haircuts|
|Brady says Gordon is ´really eager to get in there´ despite limited practice|
|NBA changes clock-reset, ´clear path´ foul rules|
|Tigers´ Martinez will play final game on Saturday before retiring|
|Sanchez to start for Man United – Mourinho|
|Speight saves Ulster in thrilling Cheetahs draw|
|Simmonds at the double as Chiefs stay perfect|
|Woods, Rose share Tour Championship lead|
|Ice-cool Shoaib denies Afghanistan in final over|
|CAF Champions League Review: Wydad Casablanca out as TP Mazembe pay penalty|
|Eden inspires rout as Castleford book Wigan semi-final|
|Thiem & Wawrinka reach St. Petersburg semi-finals|
|No change to Aguero selection despite new contract, warns Guardiola|
|Woods and Rose share Tour Championship lead|
|Wigan Athletic 1 Bristol City 0: Three on the trot for improving Latics|
|Josh Rosen will play ´when time is right,´ Cardinals GM says|
|Eagles RBs Ajayi & Sproles out Sunday v Colts|
|Ronaldo looking forward after Champions League red card - Alex Sandro|
|Rangers fire manager Jeff Banister after four seasons|
|Inter captain Icardi can improve - Spalletti|
|Jadeja and Rohit shine as India maintain 100 per cent record|
|Fisher shares lead in Vilamoura after record-breaking 59|
|Messi the best I´ve seen - Lamela|
|Silva demands end to Gomes ´rumours´ and targets early October return|
|Milner over Pogba, says Souness|
|Brazil call up Malcom, drop Thiago Silva and Willian|
|Denly thought Test chance may never come|
|Benitez tells FA to examine Zaha red card comments|
|Bjorn unsure of future after Ryder Cup|
|Tebas still optimistic over Girona-Barcelona in Miami despite RFEF setback|
|Emery promises more chances for frustrated Leno|
|Cahill considering Chelsea departure in January|
|Kaepernick to receive Harvard´s highest honour in African, African-American studies|
|Defending champion Ostapenko dumped out of Korea Open|
|Mourinho is an inspiration - Nuno|
|Witty Wilson ´delighted´ to be praised for Fisher heroics while sitting on couch|
|Burns, Denly and Stone in England squad for Sri Lanka Tests|
|Aspas reveals interest from Real Madrid, Atletico|
|Arsenal´s Mkhitaryan a doubt for Everton match|
|Klopp demands Liverpool ´stay angry´ against Southampton|
|Long-serving Tabarez signs four-year Uruguay extension|
|Injured Mendy ruled out of Cardiff trip|
|Douglas Costa out up to a month with ankle & thigh injuries|
|Slater shrugs off Feki hit amid Grand Final suspension concerns|
|Crisis? What crisis? Klopp unconcerned by Salah form|
|I didn´t convince him, he decided for himself - Guardiola says thanks to Aguero|
|Leno frustrated by Arsenal bench role|
|Joshua almost 2st heavier than Povetkin for Wembley bout|
|From salvation to the record books - Fisher revels in European Tour´s first 59|
|Lahm says Germany best for Euro 2024 as UEFA publishes report|
|Lopetegui backs Modric over Ronaldo for individual prizes|
|Goretzka to start against former club Schalke, confirms Kovac|
|Fisher shoots first 59 in European Tour history|
|Simeone defends Ronaldo after controversial Champions League red|
|Slater sees Storm into Grand Final, awaits fate over ´shoulder charge´|
|Hogg to miss Scotland´s November Tests following ankle surgery|
|Osaka through as Azarenka and Garcia crash out|
|Burgess weighing up legal options after being cleared in Rabbitohs investigation|