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36

36th Minute, Yahya Golmohammadi, Iran v Mexico, 2006 World Cup Group Stage

Context

Iran were competing in their third World Cup in Germany in 2006. Their first was in Argentina in 1978 where they gained a draw against Scotland but lost heavily to the Netherlands and Peru either side of it. Their 1998 campaign started with a 1-0 defeat to Yugoslavia but they bounced back to claim the most famous win in Iranian football history. The opposition was the USA and the build-up to the match was dominated by the history of political rivalry off the field. Iran won the game 2-1 with an impressive performance but they had to face Germany in their last group game and subsequently found themselves on the first plane home.

They missed out on qualification for 2002 when they lost a play-off to the Republic of Ireland but they made it to Germany in 2006. Their first match of the 2006 World Cup was against Mexico. The Iranians started very brightly and were clearly on top in the opening period but it was the Mexicans who took the lead. Iran didn’t get despondent though.

The Goal

Iran deservedly found an equaliser before the break from a corner when Yahya Golmohammadi found the net…

What Happened Next?

In a tight second half it was Iran who blinked first as they ended up gifting Mexico two goals in the final minutes to lose 3-1. They lost to Portugal with Golmohammadi giving away a penalty and then drew with Angola in their final match.

Golmohammadi has spent his whole playing and management career in his homeland.

Iran qualified for the 2014 World Cup after missing out in 2010.

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