A Fight to the Finish with Portugal

Hey everyone, in Moscow now for a few more days as I wrap up this World Cup experience.

I am very proud of our Team Melli footballers. They played their hearts out and left it all on the field.

A win, a loss, and a draw in such a difficult group really showed the skill and abilities of the Iranian footballers.

I found myself feeling helpless for the majority of the match against Portugal in Saransk and that was because it seemed as though Iran was unable to create quality chances.

Iran did appear to create more chances in the first half, but the second half was much more difficult.

It hurt to fall behind late in the first half and it appeared that we would be finished after VAR awarded Portugal a penalty early in the second half.

All I was able to picture was Cristiano Ronaldo doing his stupid stutter step crap to put Portugal in a two-goal lead.

But Alireza Beiranvand was just a monster during the World Cup. I couldn’t believe my eyes that Beiro denied Ronaldo from the penalty spot.

It was amazing and at that moment I was really feeling that the Iranians would gain some much needed momentum.

Unfortunately it took very long for Iran to equalize but it was awesome to cheer when Karim Ansarifard scored from the penalty spot.

In football we can always talk about the what-ifs and the shouldas, wouldas, and couldas.

And of course I am referring to Mehdi Taremi’s scoring opportunity deep into stoppage time that would have put Iran into the second round.

I remember putting my face into my flag after Taremi’s shot missed the target.

We were so close. We were so close to making history. Naturally it still hurts, but I am very proud of Team Melli.

I know it was hard on Taremi after the match, but all he can do is learn from the experience and become a better player.

When looking back, we are able to say that Iran tied Euro 2016 winners Portugal and barely lost to 2010 World Cup winners Spain.

Congratulations to the national team of Iran for an excellent display at the 2018 World Cup.

You made your fans proud and it was an epic experience to create a hostile atmosphere in Saint Petersburg, Kazan, and Saransk.

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