Iran gets booed upon entry into the stadium. Otherwise uneventful opening. No nukes is good nukes, I guess. Iran’s president, a huge jackass, is responsible for a lot of the booing, not because he’s there which he’s not, but because he’s easy to hate. Of course if that were the sole criteria, the US team would get booed, too. Dave O’Brien and Marcel Balboa announcing today so I’ll do some booing as well.
Here we go, Iran in red, Mexico in green. Mexican keeper’s father passed away a few days ago. Playing with a heavy heart, undoubtedly. Count on Dave O’Brien to mention this fact throughout. Indeed, today’s drinking game: Every time an announcer says something about Sanchez’ father or Sanchez’ loss, take a drink. Trust me, you’ll be sloshed by the end of 90 minutes.
Iran takes a 40 yarder early. Nice try. Bravo in the MLS says O’Brien. Uh, no. Lot of back and forth. O’Brien apologize for his MLS mistake. Fair enough. It could happen to anyone. It just always seem to happen to you, Dave.
Iran with two HUGE chances in the 10-11 minute. Great save! Lots of pressure from Iran. Remember in the warm-ups when I said that the Mexican defense was iffy? If they lose to Iran, I’ll look like a prophet. Of course, I also predicted that Mexico would make the second round, so I’ll also look like Dave O’Brien.
Some excitement for Iran as a Mexican counter attack yields a cross that deflects on frame. Keeper does well to track it. 0-0 in the 17th minute. First yellow to Torrado of Mexico for kicking somebody in the knee. Good call. Lousy call at the 20th minute. First of what will undoubtedly be many Mexican dives.
Mexico gets a corner in the 22nd minute. Let’s see if they run their illegal screen play. Yep. Bad service, though. Iran with a corner in the 23rd. Cleared out, chipped in, nothing. Mexican counter. Mexico gets a corner. Hand ball on the wing. Mexico kick.
Mexico scores! Nice set piece finish in the 28th minute! ABC cuts to a scene of Mexico City, Mexico where the fans are going nuts, about 3.2 on the Richter scale.
Game reminds me of the Mexico-Netherlands warm-up game, where the Mexican defense was consistently inconsistent and Mexico still got a goal to take an early lead. Of course Iran is no Netherlands.
O’Brien talking nonsense about how a bunch of teams in World Cup history didn’t lose a game but still failed to win the World Cup. Balboa notes that if you lose on penalty kicks, you still lose. Most of us wonder what O’Brien is talking about.
Iran scores on a corner! 1-1! Wow! Nobody on the defense going up for the ball. Yikes. ABC does not cut to a scene of Mexico City, Mexico where the fans are sitting solemnly.
Iran on the counter in the 39th minute. Nothing. O’Brien describes Mexico as “one of the great soccer powers on the planet.” That’s a pretty loose definition of the word “great.” Everybody knows FIFA rankings are meaningless, a fact Balbo mentioned earlier.
1-1 at half time.
Mexico makes two(!) subs at half. Ragged play in the opening 5 minutes. Borgetti has pulled hammy. That’ll be all subs used for Mexico. “So one for injury and two for fun,” says Erin. Balboa makes the astute point that Mexico’s two subs at half time were a tactical mistake.
Yellow to Iran for delay. 55th minute Iran has a nice counter. Now a corner to Mexico. Nothing. Mexico with the run of play.
58th minute. Free kick to Iran. Iran kicks a field goal in the 61st minute. Wrong game of football. Iran uses first sub in the 62nd minute.
O’Brien talks about the money made by World Cup teams. Balboa notes the money doesn’t go directly to the players. He should know.
Iffy second half blogging now as the kids get in the way. Lucky me.
Mexico looking listless. 73rd minute sees a good attack from Mexico. Wasted.
Goal! Mexico at the 75th minute. Horrible mistake in the Iranian defense. Actually, two mistakes. ABC can show Mexico City again. Yep, there it is.
Goal! Mexico with a nice header in the 78th minute. Iranian defense has collapsed. 3-1 Mexico. O’Brien talks about the great substitutions from the Mexican coach. Oh brother. The problem wasn’t the subs; it was when the subs were made.
Iran makes their second sub in the 80th minute. Too late now, I’m afraid. I’m a much bigger fan of using subs in the 70-75th minute. Gotta give players at least 15-20 minutes to make a difference.
Picture of Iran’s coach “who will be beheaded after the match,” says Erin. 86th minute Mexico takes a dive in the box. Mexico gives up a corner in the 87th. O’Brien back to talking about Sanchez and his late father. Everybody drunk now? O’Brien telling us about “the grieving that Sanchez must do” and how it’s being delayed by the World Cup. Ladies and gentlemen, soccer announcer and grief counselor, Dave O’Brien.
Yellow card to Mexican player in the 90th minute. Free kick to Iran. Amounts to nothing. Two minutes extra time. No way Mexico loses now. Indeed, 3-1 Mexico the final. Can’t imagine that discerning Mexican soccer fans will be that happy, though. Defense, particularly in the air, looked porous, and Iran is no great shakes. Without some tragic Iranian defense, Mexico leaves with a draw. It will be very interesting to see Angola play Portugal later today. If Angola is any good, Mexico could be in a lot of trouble.
O’Brien says Mexico has been incredible in the second half and that the coach’s subs are now a thing of genius. O’Brien wouldn’t know soccer genius if it hit him in the head. “Sanchez [is] grieving deeply but also celebrating in goal,” says O’Brien, the human quote machine. Most viewers are also grieving deeply, but for a different reason.