Sunday, 11th June 2006
Mexico vs Iran
On January 9th, 2000 a young Mexico side beat Iran (2:1), in front of a 34,000 crowd at
the Oakland Coliseum. Goals for Mexico were scored by two of their four veterans; Luis
Hernandez and Cuauhtemoc Blanco. Ali Daei scored for Iran.
Before the kick-off, Oswaldo Sanchez (who had just returned from his father's funeral in
Mexico) received flowers from the opposite number one, Ebrahim Mirzapour.
Iran, all in red, kicked off from right to left.
After a nice little cross-field dribble by Ali Karimi, Mehdi
Mahdavikia tested the accuracy of Teamgeist with a long-range shot that only just missed
The first real chance of the game (double chance really) fell to Iran
in the 11th and 12th minutes; Sanchez eventually making a good reflex save from a
close-range header. Iran looked the better side early on.
After a succession of free-kicks for Mexico, it finally clicked in the
28th minute; Pavel Pardo again taking it, Guillermo Franco flicking it across the goal
with his head, for Omar Bravo to tap the ball in and complete the move that's probably
been worked out on the training ground plenty of times.
Iran didn't lose focus, kept pushing and were soon rewarded from a
corner. Sanchez probably should have claimed the cross, before the headed ball clattered
into him and fell nicely for Yahya Golmohammadi to punish the Mexicans.
A nice even first-half.
Mexico made a double substitution at the start of the second-half;
something of a Ricardo La Volpe tradition.
Then Jared Borgetti pulled up with what looked like a hamstring
strain, five minutes after the re-start, and needed to be replaced; leaving Mexico with no
more substitution options for the last forty minutes.
Just before the hour, Mexico might consider themselves not to have had
a penalty; when Marquez was nudged to the floor.
Just when it looked like there wouldn't be a breakthrough, Mexico
scored two goals in three minutes to put the game out of Iran's reach.
The first came from a poor clearance by the erratic Mirzapour. The
ball was headed back towards the area and badly cleared again from a defender to half-time
substitute, Antonio Naelson. The Mexican number seven, better known as 'Zinha' passed the
ball through for Omar Bravo to run onto, beat the slipping Iranian keeper and send La
Volpe into a sideline rapture.
Then the Brazilian-born, 'Zinha' Naelson rose to head home a
right-wing cross from Mario Mendez to shatter the Iranians dreams.
As the whistle blows, the Mexican players all run to console a tearful
Oswaldo Sanchez; whose proud father is now looking down from the great football stadium in
Mexico 3 - Iran 1
1:0 Omar Bravo (28)
1:1 Yahya Golmohammadi (36)
2:1 Omar Bravo (76)
3:1 Antonio Naelson (79)
Our Man of The Match:
Mexico: (Captain Rafael Marquez)
1 Oswaldo Sanchez; 3 Carlos Salcido, 4 Rafael Marquez, 5 Ricardo
Osorio, 16 Mario Mendez; 6 Gerardo Torrado, 8 Pavel Pardo, 14 Gonzalo
Pineda; 9 Jared Borgetti, 10 Guillermo Franco, 19 Omar Bravo.
Iran: (Captain Ali Daei)
1 Ebrahim Mirzapour; 4 Yahya Golmohammadi, 5 Rahman Rezae, 13 Hossein Kaabi, 20 Mohammad
Nosratii; 2 Mehdi Mahdavikia, 6 Javad Nekounam, 8 Ali Karimi, 14 Andranik Teymourian; 9
Vahid Hashemian, 10 Ali Daei.
Roberto Rosetti (Italy)
46 Mins (Mexico) - 7 Antonio Naelson on for 10 Guillermo Franco
46 Mins (Mexico) - 23 Luis Perez on for 6 Gerardo Torrado
52 Mins (Mexico) - 17 Francisco Fonseca on for 9 Jared Borgetti
62 Mins (Iran) - 21 Mehrzad Madanchi on for 8 Ali Karimi
81 Mins (Iran) - 15 Arash Borhani on for 20 Mohammad Nosratii
18 Mins - Gerardo Torrado (Mexico)
55 Mins - Javad Nekounam (Iran)
90 Mins - Carlos Salcido (Mexico)
0 Red Cards.
2006 World Cup Finals - Knockout Stage.
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