June 21, 2006

Portugal 2, Mexico 1: In a battle of penalty kicks, Portugal converted, while Los Tricolores choked again. Maintaining its perfect mark of never having missed a penalty kick in World Cup play, Simao gave his team a two-goal lead midway through the first half, while Mexico, which has been eliminated twice in the past on penalty kicks, saw Omar Bravo blow a chance to tie the game on his second half attempt. The Portuguese, with nothing to play for and with five starters benched to prevent them picking up a second yellow card, took control early, then held off a furious Mexican push which continued even after Perez was sent off for "diving" in the penalty area. Both teams advanced to the second round for the opportunity to get slaughtered by Holland and Argentina.

The record of the four CONCACAF teams in the 2006 World Cup is an abysmal 1-7-3, with only Mexico's 3-1 victory over Iran in the first game breaking the monotony of failure. If this were the NCAA Tournament, CONCACAF would be the 2006 Big 10.

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