Tehran, June 18, IRNA-The following are the reactions of some Iranian newspapers to the Saturday's 0-2 defeat of the Iranian national team in the World Cup Group D match against Portugal in Frankfurt, Germany.
In an article by its sport commentator Kambakhsh Khalaji, 'Tehran Times' wrote "skipper Luis Figo set up both goals Portugal scored against Iran in Frankfurt, ... to advance to the last 16 of the 2006 World Cup finals.
"Man of the Match Deco fired home a Figo cross from 25 meters with an unstoppable right drive after 63 minutes and Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo converted a spot-kick ten minutes from time when Figo was brought down by his opposite number Yahya Golmohammadi.
"The result that sent the Asian team packing was surely appealing to Portugal manager Luiz Felipe Scolari, who Friday said a half-nil win would please him," wrote the paper.
Praising Iranian goalkeeper Ebrahim Mirzapour, it said "A transformed keeper Ebrahim Mirzapur making a handful of good saves played a big role in holding the European heavyweight Portugal until the hour mark."
The paper added regretfully "In two rare attacks, Iran had the chances to secure the parity as substitute Rasul Khatibi failed to beat keeper Ricardo in a one-on-one challenge on 72 minutes and Hanover striker Vahid Hashemian forced a save from Ricardo with a glancing header seven minutes later."
Meanwhile, three other English-language dailies just quoted dispatches with 'Kayhan International,' saying "A stunning strike from Deco and a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty gave Portugal a 2-0 triumph over Iran on Saturday, sealing their place in the World Cup second round."
It lauded Iran's defense, saying it "did well to keep line striker Pauleta quiet."
Referring to the few chances for Iran that were aborted, the paper said, "Iran had an opportunity of its own when a header from Hashemian forced Portuguese keeper Ricardo into a smart stop." In their last first-round games Wednesday, Iran plays debutant Angola in Leipzig and Portugal arrays against Mexico in Gelsenkirchen.
Two other papers, 'Iran Daily' and 'Iran News,' referred to a report that said "Angola goalkeeper Joao Ricardo was more worried about beating Iran in the World Cup next week than the fact he was without a league team."
Referring to Ricardo as the man of the match in Friday's 0-0 draw with Mexico, the report added, "The draw means victory over Iran in their final Group D game in Leipzig on Wednesday could give the Africans a place in the second round at their first World Cup."
... Payvand News - 6/18/06 ... --