22.06.2006 Football News

Angola Too Crash Out

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Angola's first World Cup goal was not enough to send the Black Antelopes into the second round of the tournament.

Sohrab Bakhtiarizadeh scored the tying goal in the 75th minute yesterday to give Iran a 1-1 draw and end Angola's hopes of advancing at its first World Cup ever.

Needing a win, a Mexico loss to Portugal and help on goal differential to move on, the Angolans could not deliver the one part they controlled. They finished in third place in Group D with two points, one ahead of Iran.

Substitute Flavio gave Angola its first goal of the tournament when he broke free from Kaabi Hossein in the penalty box to head a cross from Ze Kalanga over goalkeeper Ebrahim Mirzapour and into the net.

Angola lost 1-0 to Portugal in its opener before playing Mexico to a 0-0 draw.

Iran tied it 15 minutes later when Bakhtiarizadeh jumped over Love and headed a corner kick from Mehdi Mahdavikia just inside the post with no defenders guarding the area. Goalkeeper Joao Ricardo yelled at his defenders after the score in apparent frustration.

With Mexico losing 2-1 to Portugal, Angola would have advanced to the next stage, if they had scored three goals.

But the Black Antelopes showed little urgency, apparently satisfied with their second draw of the tournament.

"When we arrived with the team, the first idea that we would suffer many goals didn't happen," Angola coach Luis Oliveira Goncalves said.

"With two draws ... the people of Angola can be very, very proud."
It was an outcome that neither side had wished for.

The Iranians, who generated security headaches for the hosts because of protests against the government in Tehran, had already been eliminated after losing their two matches in the group. But they remained hopeful they could return home "honourably" by beating Angola.

• Luiz Felipe Scolari's makeshift Portugal team, featuring five backups, finished a sweep of its opening-round games with a 2-1 victory over Mexico yesterday.
"Things couldn't be better," Scolari said.

Mexico, coming off a win and a draw, missed a penalty kick and played the last 30 minutes with 10 men. But its door to the knockout round opened when Angola drew with Iran.
Mexico has advanced in the last four World Cups.

Portugal won on goals by Maniche and Simao Sabrosa in the first 25 minutes, and Kikin replied by heading in a corner kick to put Mexico back in the game before halftime.

But then Mexico's Omar Bravo missed a chance to tie on a second-half penalty kick that soared over the net, and a second yellow card for Luis Perez damaged his team's chances.

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