Iran may have lost their World Cup match against Spain on Wednesday, but there was a bigger victory for many football fans back home. For a large section of female fans in Iran, the match in Russia opened new doors, literally, as women were allowed to enter their national stadium for the first time in 37 years to watch the World Cup action on the big screen.

Tehran’s largest football stadium admitted thousands of women together with men for the first time since the the Islamic revolution of 1979.

The decision to throw open the gates of the capital’s 100,000 capacity Azadi Stadium for the landmark live screening came after Iran’s opening game victory against Morocco on Friday.

The U-turn by Tehran provincial council came after the 1-0 win over Morocco saw tens of thousands take to the streets of the capital in rare and wild celebration, many of them women.

Here’s a look at how the Iranian women celebrated the moment and cheered for their team, with face paint, flags and memorabilia.

The started queuing outside the stadium hours before the match, with vuvuzelas and what not.

And when the gates opened, it was a party atmosphere inside the stadium.

It was indeed a moment to remember for Iran and the football fans in the country, one can only hope it’s the start of better things to come.

All images: AFP