Saturday, 17th June 2006
Deco is Back
Portugal vs Iran
Portugal and Iran last met in 1972, a game Portugal won (3:0).
Deco was back in the side as Portugal sought the win needed to qualify for the Second
In the first fifteen minutes, Iran had a header wide; Deco forced
Ebrahim Mirzapour to palm his shot away; and Nuno Maniche had a screamer deflected for
Portugal's fifth corner of the game.
Ricardo had to be alert to punch out a 23rd minute Iranian free-kick,
from the left wing, as his defenders seemed to be out-jumped in the aerial battle.
Luis Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo continued to run down the wings for
Portugal, to no avail; both of them tying the tricks more than the simple moves and
Ronaldo in particular slowly showing his frustration.
The French referee missed a karate-kick to Figo's face, in the 35th
minute. The Portugal captain seemed more disgusted that there was no fluid left in the
Iran started to grow in confidence, just before the break and can be
thankful that Miguel's shot from the right was fired underneath Mirzapour and across the
face of the Iranian goal; with Pauleta not close enough to connect at the far post.
Ebrahim Mirzapour made another good save in the 52nd minute, when
Cristiano Ronaldo cut inside the box to try his luck.
Iran then tried a bout of possession football, just before the hour
but it wasn't very pretty.
The game sprang to life in the 63rd minute as Deco struck the ball
cleanly from just outside the D, to put Portugal in front.
Substitute Rasoul Khatibi missed a great to chance to level for Iran,
just six minutes later, when his shot bobbled across the face of the goal.
Just after Ricardo made something of a show, diving to his left to
save Vahid Hashemian's header, Luis Figo earned a penalty at the other end.
How the flow of a game can change in a fouling instant; as Cristiano
Ronaldo took a deep breath and a slow step forward, before sending Mirzapour the wrong way
to double Portugal's lead.
Portugal 2 - Iran 0
1:0 Anderson Deco (63)
2:0 Cristiano Ronaldo (79pen)
The win means Portugal have qualified for the Second Round.
Mexico need a point against Portugal to be sure of qualification,
while a win would put the Mexicans top of the group. If Mexico lose and Angola beat Iran,
the Africans could qualify; if they end up with a better goal differential than Mexico.
Portugal: (Captain Luis Figo)
1 Alexandre Ricardo; 5 Fernando Meira, 13 Luis Miguel, 14 Jorge Nuno
Valente, 16 Alberto Ricardo Carvalho; 6 Francisco Costinha, 7 Luis Figo,
18 Nuno Maniche, 20 Anderson Deco; 9 Pedro Pauleta, 17 Cristiano
Iran: (Captain Yahya Golmohammadi)
1 Ebrahim Mirzapour; 4 Yahya Golmohammadi, 5 Rahman Rezaei, 13 Hossein Kaabi, 20 Mohammad
Nosrati; 2 Mehdi Mahdavikia, 6 Javad Nekounam, 8 Ali Karimi, 14 Andranik Teymourian, 21
Mehrzad Madanchi; 9 Vahid Hashemian.
Eric Poulat (France).
65 Mins (Iran) - 7 Ferydoon Zandi on for 8 Ali Karimi
66 Mins (Iran) - 11 Rasoul Khatibi on for 21 Mehrzad Madanchi
67 Mins (Portugal) - 8 Armando Petit on for 18 Nuno Maniche
81 Mins (Portugal) - 19 Tiago on for 20 Anderson Deco
88 Mins (Iran) - 3 Sohrab Bakhtiarizadeh on for 4 Yahya Golmohammadi
88 Mins (Portugal) - 11 Simao Sabrosa on for 7 Luis Figo
20 Mins - Javad Nekounam (Iran)
32 Mins - Mehrzad Madanchi (Iran)
45 Mins - Pedro Pauleta (Portugal)
48 Mins - Anderson Deco (Portugl)
61 Mins - Francisco Costinha (Portugal)
73 Mins - Hossein Kaabi (Iran)
87 Mins - Yahya Golmohammadi (Iran)
0 Red Cards.
2006 World Cup Finals - Knockout Stage.
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