Portugal 2 Iran 0: Scolari must keep key players' powder dry
After winning their first two Group D games and booking their spot in the knock-out phase, Portugal can relax and give some new faces a run-out in their final game against Mexico on Wednesday. A superb Deco strike and a penalty converted by Cristiano Ronaldo gave Portugal a 2-0 win over Iran in Frankfurt on Saturday.
Luiz Felipe Scolari can now tweak his side to take into account fitness and the disciplinary situation. "We have already qualified so we can look at yellow cards, injuries and other details and we will be able to rest some players," Scolari said.
Costinha, Deco and Pauleta picked up bookings in Saturday's game, while Ronaldo and Nuno Valente both have a caution from the Angola match.
Portugal face formidable opponents in the next round. But Scolari and his players found it difficult to choose between the favourites, Argentina, who put six past Serbia & Montenegro on Friday, or the in-form Netherlands. Those two meet on Wednesday.
"The Netherlands and Argentina are two big teams so it is impossible to judge," the goalkeeper Ricardo said. "In 90 minutes one of those teams can have an off day and can be eliminated, so there's no point in choosing who we would prefer at this stage," Scolari said.
But the midfielder Tiago insisted Portugal were still determined totop the group so the game against Mexico in Gelsenkirchen would be no damp squib. "We will be more relaxed, but we do want to keep first place. Mexico are a good team and need the points, so it will be a good match," he said.
Portugal: Ricardo (Sporting); Miguel (Valencia), Meira (Stuttgart), Ricardo Carvalho (Chelsea), Nuno Valente (Everton), Costinha (Dinamo Moscow), Maniche (Chelsea), Deco (Barcelona), Ronaldo (Manchester United), Pauleta (Paris St-Germain), Figo (Internazionale).
Substitutes used: Petit (Benfica) for Maniche, 66; Tiago (Lyon) for Deco, 80; Simao (Benfica) for Figo, 88.
Iran: Mirzapour (Foolad); Kaabi (Foolad), Golmohammadi (Saba Battery), Rezaei (Messina), Nosrati (Pas Tehran) Nekounam (Al Wahda), Mahdavikia (Hamburg) Karimi (Bayern Munich), Teymourian (A Moslem), Madanchi (Persepolis), Hashemian (Hanover 96).
Substitutes used: Bakhtiarizadeh (Saba Battery) for Golmohammadi, 88; Zandi (Kaiserslautern) for Karimi, 65; Khatibi (Pas Tehran) for Madanchi, 66.
Booked: Portugal Pauleta, Deco, Costinha; Iran Nekounam, Madanchi, Kaabi, Golmohammadi.
Referee: Eric Poulat (France).
Wow - what a weekend for British Motorcycle racing!
by Luke Wilkins
22 May 2013 05:00 AM
The dust is barely settling on the Premier League season and the bookies are looking to persuade us ...
by Gareth Purnell
22 May 2013 02:01 AM
The guard has changed at Old Trafford for the first time in 26 years. Meanwhile, down the road, the ...
by The Sports Lawyer
21 May 2013 10:01 PM
Sergio Garcia apologises for 'fried chicken remark aimed towards Tiger Woods
Gaël Clichy: Roberto Mancini must take share of blame for dismissal
Exclusive: Championship clubs set to push for safe-standing trials
Phil Neville in frame for role at Stoke City
Andy Carroll stalls on £15m move to West Ham in hope Newcastle step in
- 1 Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
- 2 Swedes set up 'ultimate Viking movie'
- 3 After woman sells virginity for $780,000, here are the results of our prostitution survey
- 4 China agrees to impose carbon targets by 2016
- 5 Far-right French historian, 78-year-old Dominique Venner, commits suicide in Notre Dame in protest against gay marriage
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.