TEHRAN, June 11 (Mehr News Agency) - Mexico capitalized on a big defending blunder in the second half to overcome a struggling Iran 3-1 in their 2006 World Cup Group D opener in Frankenstadion in Nuremberg, southeast of Germany, Sunday.
Against the run of play, Mexico opened the scoring after 28 minutes, when a Guillermo Franco header found the unmarked Omar Bravo, who side-footed in from close range.
Iran, however, celebrated the equalizer eight minutes later following a curling corner from Hamburg right winger Mehdi Mahdavikia that fell to the advancing fullback Yahya Golmohammadi -- after an encounter between keeper Oswaldo Sanchez and Iran sturdy defender Rahman Rezaii - who found the roof of the net with a powerful drive.
The Iranian team did not play as smoothly as it did before the interval, but it looked to hold Mexico to a 1-1 draw.
However, the right back Hossein Ka'bi unnecessarily returned the ball to keeper Ebrahim Mirzapur, whose weakly struck kick was followed by a mistake from Messina's Rezaii, allowing substitute Zinha to leave Bravo alone with the goalie to beat on 76 minutes.
Zinho poured cold water on Iranian team and fans, steering home a Mario Mendez cross with a glancing header.
Iran arrays against Portugal and Angola in Frankfurt and Leipzig on June 17 and 21 respectively.
... Payvand News - 6/12/06 ... --