Sunday, June 11, 2006

Match two of day three, another challenged match is set on the stage of the World Cup. In Mexico football is maybe even more then a religion, it is a way of life. The Mexican keeper that lost his father this week, but still made it to the line-up today, proves my point. The Mexican side never made it pass a quarter final, the coach Volja Ricardo certainly will like to set that straight, here in Germany.
Iran qualified twice for the World Cup finals, but never made it to the second round. The Croatian coach Ivankovic Branko will have his eyes on achieving better results for Iran, here in Germany.
In the first minutes Mexico seems to struggle to gain control over the game. They make a hard tackle on an Iranian striker, only inches outside the penalty box. The whistle remains silent.
Mexico gets more possession of the ball and start passing it calmly around.
When the Iranians get a hand, or better said a foot, on the ball, they break out with fast passes. They are trying hard to be furious. In the tenth minute, they are nearly deadly with a cross in the box. But the ball does not find a player. The follow up is a cross that finds a head, and the ball bounces of the crossbar. Mexico seems shocked. They regain some control by chasing when Iran has the ball, reducing the chances of a well played pass. The tactics are costly, and the first yellow card is in the 17th minute for Mexico.
Costly, but effective.
"Iran with some sketchy passing," says the commentator.
Mexico getting more shots at the goal, and in the 19th min they get a free kick. A Mexican striker heads the ball into the feet of 'Bravo', who changes the ball’s direction.


"The most dangerous time is the first five minutes after you score a goal," warns the commentator.
Iran nearly proves him right when the ball is criss-crossed trough the penalty box, again without finding a player. The game gets very competitive, complete with foul after foul. I hope this will not be the first nasty game of the tournament.
In the 35th minute Iran is rewarded. A corner, a scuffle in the Mexican box, and Iran strikes the ball through the legs of a Mexican defender into goal.


The game is close, and stays close the remainder of the first half.
The second half starts even more competitive, both teams are in the game.
"Both sides struggling to gain momentum," says the commentator.
Mexico struggles ends in the 76th minute as they steal the ball of Iran, just meters outside the Iranian box. The keeper slips and the Iranian dreams are crushed.


Iran falls apart.
"It seemed to have sucked the air out of Iran," says the commentator. He is right. Minutes later, Mexico executes a deep pass over the right side. The ball is crossed back into the box. A nice header, and Iran goes into tears.


Iran comes back a couple of times with a few attacks, but their backbone is broken. Mexico City celebrates, while Iran licks his wounds.