Saturday, June 17, 2006

Portugal 2 Iran 0



Portugal is taking care of business, not looking overly impressive but winning games it's supposed to win. Much like Spain, however, you can't help wondering if Portugal is for real. It's an I'll-believe-it-when-I-see-it thing.

One thing Portugal has going for it is that the big three in midfield - Figo, Deco, and Ronaldo - are rolling. All three have been active and lively, both Deco and Ronaldo scoring today. Figo, the grizzled vet that he is, has been playing plenty of minutes and looking like there's no way he wants to be subbed out in what is surely his last World Cup.

So Portugal looks on the verge of winning the group unless Mexico says otherwise on Wednesday. Not to look ahead too much, but Portugal is destined to play either Argentina or Holland in the second round regardless of whether it wins the group or not. Talk about picking your poison. Though I'm guessing Scolari's team would prefer the Dutch at this point. Who wouldn't want to avoid Argentina?

Meanwhile, Allah has deserted Iran, which is eliminated. Two games and two two-goal defeats. Ouch. It's going to be a long, hot summer in Tehran. You have to wonder how things would gave gone differently for Iran if it didn't allow Mexico's second goal in their opener on a horrendous, laughable defensive mistake. It was 1-1 at that point and Iran was looking very capable of earning a point. It was all downhill for them after that.

It was a shame that Ali Karimi was hobbled. It was almost amusing to watch him against Portugal as he only made meager attempts to even run. He just sort of walked around midfield looking like perhaps Iran was just a bit better with his mere presence in midfield, and for awhile it was. As soon as Portugal went ahead, Karimi was subbed faster than J.J. Rdeick U-turning away from a police blockade. Again, things may have gone differently for Iran had Karimi been at full strength.

As it stands, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad must be about ready to blow something up. Terror alert leves rise. Mushrooms in the sky.

Kidding, of course.

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