17 June, 2006

Getting Better: Portugal 2 Iran 0

Portugal looked under par in their first game, but thanks to Mexico and Angola cancelling each other out yesterday they go into the game with Iran knowing that a win will send them through to the next round.

They pile on the pressure from the start, but Iran soak it up and block their opponents at every turn. Now and then they make a dangerous attack on the break. At one point the Iranian supporters and several of the team think that Andranik Teymourian has scored, despite the fact that his effort is both off-side and off-target, rattling the post.

The Portuguese are taking a battering as the Iranians display a strong physical presence. The referee lets them get away with more than others might, and Portugal might have complaints about his performance, but in reality they can only blame themselves for failing to take advantage of their dominance in the first half.

In the second half Portugal look more lively. They continue to have most of the play and this time do better getting through and around their opponents. After 63 minutes Deco makes the breakthrough with a solid curling strike.

Portugal sit back a little after the goal, but are not over-defensive. After 78 minutes the Iranians physical play finally catches up with them when Figo is taken down inside the box and the referee awards a penalty. Cristiano Ronaldo coolly puts it away and it appears that Portugal have done the job.

Deco is rested for the last ten minutes and Figo soon follows him off the field. The rest of the game goes by with only one further challenge from Iran, a header which goes wide of the Portugal goal.

Iran seem resigned to their impending exit. Ronaldo has the ball in the net again before the end, but the flag is up. The match finishes 2-0 and Portugal go through looking like an improving side.


Rish said...

Deco. First name Arthur.

Joe Williams said...

Pele's first name is Brian.


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