FIFA World Cup Group F: Iran Blames Messi and Referee for 1-0 Loss

World Cup
The fate of Argentina in Group F of the FIFA World Cup is set following the match against Iran today. Argentina can plan on meeting the 2nd place team of Group E in the Round of 16 next Tuesday. Today’s win came after a grueling game of missed opportunities for Argentina, who relied on Lionel Messi to nab the game-winning goal. After the match, Iran’s coach pointed to two figures in connection with his team’s 1-0 loss: the referee and Messi.

The Iranian squad has made a name for itself by being a defense machine. A migraine for any team’s offense, the Iranian’s defensive strategy had served them well in group play until today. Despite the loss, Iran’s defense was able to expose Argentina’s inability to cope with a well-organized defensive opponent.

Argentina claimed almost 70 percent of the ball possession, and had a total of 19 shots. What you would expect out of a machine like Argentina is that they would be able to get at least half of those shots on goal, however that was not the case. Indeed, Argentina seemed to be having a difficult time breaching the defensive barriers that Iran had set up.

Iran had 10 players behind the ball at all times. In the event of a turnover, the three nearest Iranian players immediately took steps to close down the space around the ball. There were times when Iran had dangerous opportunities up top, some of which were arguably of a much better quality than the Argentinian chances. One instance in particular had Iran’s coach, Carlos Queiroz, fuming after midfielder Ashkan Dejagah did not receive a penalty kick in the box in the 54th minute.

Dejagah was taken down in the box by Argentinian defender Pablo Zabaleta as he tried to clear the ball out of the danger zone. Though Zabaleta made full contact with the ball, Dejagah and Queiroz were adamant that enough contact was made with the Iranian midfielder to warrant a penalty kick. The absence of a call led Queiroz to stake blame on the game’s outcome on the referee.

In the 91st minute, Messi gave Argentina reason to celebrate by scoring a phenomenal goal from outside the box. The left-footed strike only saw side netting, making it nearly impossible for even the best of goalkeepers to stop. Accurately dubbed Argentina’s “floatation device,” Messi has initiated a World Cup scoring streak.

It is not always considered sportsmanlike to criticize the referee, however Queiroz wasted no time in doing so. After the game the Iranian coach stated that there were “two personalities” in the game that made the difference. “The number one was the referee, the second was Lionel Messi,” Queiroz finished.

Queiroz was right. Lionel Messi made all the difference in the World Cup game between Argentina and Iran. Messi is a crutch that Argentina should not be relying upon solely, but nonetheless the star of the team. On the second front, the issue of whether or not the referee made the right call is still up for debate. What remains certain, however, is that Iran gave a valiant effort against the Group F leaders, and should walk away with the respect of having fought a great fight.

Commentary by Courtney Anderson
Guardian Liberty Voice Sports Writer Covering World Cup Group F

Observation by author
Guardian Liberty Voice

28 Responses to "FIFA World Cup Group F: Iran Blames Messi and Referee for 1-0 Loss"

  1. Bahman (Iran)   June 24, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    yeah. Iranian should walk away with the respect of having fought a great fight! but i hope
    Argentina team has got this point so by winning against Nigeria, they make this opportunity for Iran to remain in competition.

  2. mah   June 24, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    your case?!(what was that??) so I had the right to put you in your right place ,

  3. Kristin Campbell   June 24, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    To the recent commenters, there was no Iran bashing anywhere. Either there is a language barrier or people need a refresher course in reading comprehension. And I don’t know where there is political motivation. It sounds more like upset spectators pulling the political pity card.

    -The Iranian squad has made a name for itself by being a defense machine. A migraine for any team’s offense, the Iranian’s defensive strategy had served them well in group play until today. Despite the loss, Iran’s defense was able to expose Argentina’s inability to cope with a well-organized defensive opponent.-

    How is this paragraph representation of Iran bashing?! Take some reading comprehension, people! I thought Iran really showed the world what they were capable of. And in the World Cup, against a powerhouse like Argentina, that’s something to be proud of. Of course the game doesn’t always go our way, but that’s the nature of the sport. Good luck to Iran in their future endeavours.

  4. Courtney Anderson   June 24, 2014 at 2:57 am

    I rest my case…

  5. mah   June 24, 2014 at 12:53 am

    hahahaaaaaaa :))))) very funny verrry funny in your dreams!!!! why dont you write your fantasy some where NOT public maybe you should sing it out in the bathroom!! no way… did they actually pay you for this rubish?!go home take a shower and look in the mirror and repeat :I’m a psycho I live in my negative looser mind because I cant see how good others are I’m not a human being and I should give up critisizing others JUST because they are brilliant and they dont need to CHEAT to prove themself,OBVIOUSLY messy is a star but persian cheetahs are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better bicause they have one thing that can never be beaten and that is LOVE and FAITH …this is goes to all the sad people who are judging IRAN and its sport just by the past politics,we are a nation and we are original.

  6. Courtney Anderson   June 23, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    I feel that you misunderstood this article

  7. Morteza   June 23, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    Your commentary is influenced by political views.

    You ignored many good things for Iran and just point out the weakness in such unfair aspects , like 10 Iranian players before the ball!

    and for your info, this is tactic of not only Iran and Queiroz but many great managers and football teams.

    I just feel sorry for you. sport should not be involved in politics and you do that!

  8. Melinda   June 23, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    The Ref did not do any thing when one of the Argenita’s players took out the corner flag and they just focus on Dejagah’s reaction.

  9. Sara   June 23, 2014 at 7:59 am

    It was very obvious that Ref was paid enough to put his career in danger to act agains the Iranian team. He was absolutely useless, unfair and unprofessional referee. He deserve to be sacked.

  10. David Johnson   June 23, 2014 at 5:28 am

    Iran was playing way better than Argentina. They could even win the game!

  11. Queen   June 22, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    We will get into the next level when we beat bossni and argantein won bossni you will see!

  12. kasra   June 22, 2014 at 11:17 am

    the penalty really did not matter until Ref set more than a min extra time…

  13. Kristin Campbell   June 22, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Even though he was tripped in the box, if contact with the ball was made first, its not a penalty. I don’t know how many of you have actually played this game, but that’s common knowledge. Its an unfortunate outcome for Iran. I was rooting for them and I thought they really showed their talent and teamwork against Argentina. And FYI, charging a referee is an automatic red card, I’ve seen it too many times. I think the author provided a very objective overview on this game.

    • sndaucla   June 22, 2014 at 11:10 pm

      @ Kristin: How do you say he made full contact to the ball while not a single video of any angle show anything more than a slight change in the ball direction? He might first have gone for the ball but have definitely been reluctant to avoid Dejagah’s ankle. And if he did contact the ball, which he barely did, we should have been given a corner. Guess what! He gave us none! FYI he ran half of the yard to fix the flag without any words to the Argentinian player!! He did well for most of the game but made a couple of unaccepted mistakes. That’s it.

  14. babakkaviani1234   June 22, 2014 at 9:19 am

    The match was good. Iran certainly needs to believe in herself much more as she is fully capable to stand in the game and win. There will always be the politics of athlecism invovled no matter what sport and what team invovled. Those who have already achieved want to keep that going at any cost! But the referee might have made an error due to this fact or just by a mistake as these decisions are instantaneous and similar errors have already been made in other matches. Argentina was good and is to appreciate the good chances they have had. Good luck Iran, Argentina and the rest. Let us improve the quality of the matches and refereeing and get rid of the athleticism mafia. Viva Iran…

  15. Ray   June 22, 2014 at 7:30 am

    Ref cheated iran out of a goal, then acted like a baby when he learned he is blind.

  16. bahmanpour   June 22, 2014 at 6:14 am

    shame on Referee , it was obviously penalty .its not important just the percent of the ball possession.

  17. moon   June 21, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    that was the most obvious “mistake” the referee made…other than that he kept blocking Iran players over and over again in the most critical moments of the game…and kept over looking Argentina’s errors and was harsh to Iran! I would call him Argentina’s twelfth player because he really was.

  18. amuzed2death   June 21, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    Calling that penalty would also mean automatic red card. That meant possibly powerhouse Argentine powerhouse losing the game to underdog Iranian team. The ref would have kissed his job goodbye.

  19. JA   June 21, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    What can one do? I think it would have been a draw and the whole world or whomever was watching ESPN at that time saw how the Iranian player was tripped up. Iran should hold their head high otherwise this would have been a blowout game. They did their best. Maybe in 4 years time again?

  20. Bernard   June 21, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    Wrong calls by referees at the World Cup games are nothing new or surprising. But at these games at Brazil, things are out of hand. Would-be great games are put to shame by referees again and again. A total chaos that need to be immediately addressed by FIFA.

  21. Bahar   June 21, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    I strongly agree with the comment above. The referee’s decision in not giving a penalty was quite unjust.

  22. Argentina fan   June 21, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    The video is clear. The Iranian player was unfairly tripped up in the penalty box and there should have been a penalty kick against Argentina. There is no debate when we have video replays. Messi of course had a beautiful strike and deserves credit.

  23. Y   June 21, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    It is not up for debate…. Iran’s team deserved a penalty.. That was taken away from them… Thanks to the referee!

  24. Grey jones   June 21, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    That’s not for debate, watch the replay, Iranian attacker was clearly tripped inside the box if that is not a penalty I don’t know what is

  25. Shayan Amani   June 21, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    We didnt lose the game, we lose to referee
    Arg played with 13 player!

  26. asjodi   June 21, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    we are proud of iranian players. they did well but messi was uncontrolable and argantina s coach had just trusted messi before the game it shows argantina is nothing without messi.we will show irans power by wining bosnia and keep calm and f**k milorad mazic (the referee of irans match). best wishes for iranians all over the world.♥

  27. hosien   June 21, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    the referee was one of àrgentina s player he always shoot the ball . foolish . i dont know how he ve been referee.


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