June 17, 2006

Portugal 2, Iran 0: It took awhile, thanks to some inspired goalkeeping by first game goat Ebrahim Mirzapour, but Portugal scored twice in the second half, including the second goal in as many days by a Man U. star, to knock out Iran. The legendary Figo set up the final goal with a crafty manuever into the penalty area, where he was tripped, setting up Cristiano Ronaldo's clincher. After the huge disappointment of 2002, the Portuguese got out of the first round for the first time since 1966, where they will play either Holland or Argentina. Putting aside the scoreless draws by Angola and Trinidad, there have been no upsets so far, due in large part to the mandate from FIFA after the 2002 Cup that European leagues end their seasons this year in early May, enabling the stars from Europe and South America to be more rested entering the tournament.

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