Portugal beat Iran 2-0 in Group D
Saturday, June 17, 2006
Just when Portugal might have wondered if they could breakthrough Deco produced a wonderful goal to send Luiz Felipe Scolari's side into the knock-out stage of the World Cup, Saturday.
Iran used defensive tactics to frustrate Portugal in the Commerzbank Arena and until one hour of play the scores were level. The defence had blocked shots, Ebrahim Mirzapour had made some great saves.
Figo had created most of Portugal's best opportunities. In the first half the team in the maroon strip had 5 corners in the first 15 minutes and, after half an hour, had 68 per cent of the possession.
A Deco shot from a close angle forced Mirzapour to make a one-handed save over the bar. By half time Richard Carvalho, and later Ronaldo, had missed the target with a header from a Figo corner.
Branko Ivankovic's side did not trouble Ricardo at the other end but this did not make the Brazilian coach of the Portugal team adjust the 4-5-1 formation which had Pauletta up front on his own.
In the second half Figo was again the centre of everything but this did not look enough. It was Deco's brilliant 25 yard shot, from Figo's rolled pass, which won it.
Mirzapour could only stand and watch the ball rise into the net as Deco fell backwards onto the ground.
Portugal had ten shots on target to Iran's one; from a Vahid Hashemian header which produced a photographer friendly save from Ricardo. Iran allowed Figo to take 13 corner kicks and conceded 63 per cent of ball possession.
After the first goal the second looked more likely as Iran were forced to get forward to equalise. If they did not they would play only one more game at the World Cup.
Rasoul Khatibi got on the end of a long ball into the box but, at an angle, dragged wastefully wide of the far post.
On 78 minutes Figo attacked the Iranian penalty area once more and was brought down by Yahya Golmohammadi. Golmohammadi, Iran's captain, ten minutes later was taken off injured, clutching his left shoulder after he had stepped in front of Ronaldo.
Ronaldo passed the penalty in high using the inside of his right foot.
Portugal were due next to play Mexico and would go through as winners of Group D if they did not lose.
|June 17, 2006|
C. Ronaldo 80' (pen)
- 01 A Ricardo
- 13 L Miguel
- 05 F Meira
- 16 A Ricardo Carvalho
- 14 J Nuno Valente
- 06 F Costinha 61'
- 18 N Maniche (Substituted: 66' A Petit )
- 20 A Deco 48' (Substituted: 80' C Tiago)
- 17 C Ronaldo
- 09 P Pauleta 46'+
- 07 L Figo (Substituted: 88' S Simao)
Fifa World Cup Group D table June 17, 2006
- "Portugal 2-0 Iran" — , June 17, 2006
- "Fifa match report" — , June 17, 2006
- This article is about the 2006 World Cup; for more World Cup news visit the World Cup portal.
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