Iran's fans show off their national flag as they celebrate on Vanak Square, in the capital Tehran, on June 21, 2014, despite their national team'a narrow defeat to Argentina in the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Iran's fans show off their national flag as they celebrate on Vanak Square, in the capital Tehran, on June 21, 2014, despite their national team'a narrow defeat to Argentina in the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil © Atta Kenare - AFP
Iran's fans show off their national flag as they celebrate on Vanak Square, in the capital Tehran, on June 21, 2014, despite their national team'a narrow defeat to Argentina in the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil
AFP
Last updated: June 22, 2014

Iranians proud after Argentina heartbreak 

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Passionate Iranian fans held their heads up Saturday after a last minute goal from four-time world player of the year Lionel Messi, saw their beloved Team Melli lose 1-0 to Argentina.

But they also felt "robbed" after Iran were denied what looked like a clear penalty when forward Ashkan Dejagah was brought down by Argentine defender Pablo Zabaleta in the penalty box.

"We were robbed," cried an overwhelmed Atieh, dressed in Iran's national shirt.

"That was a definite penalty kick." said the State television's commentator, commentating live to millions of fans across the country.

He was not kind to Serbian referee Milorad Mazic: "He got on our nerves."

Ehsan, with a face covered in an Iran flag, chipped in: "We played wonderfully, and against one of the best teams in the world. In the end, we only lost to Messi."

The Argentine wizard shattered Iran after 90 minutes of effective defense and counter attacks, with a brilliant curling shot into the top left hand corner.

Some people in Tehran took to their cars, honking horns and waving the national flag, in a show of support.

"This is a proud moment in Iran's footballing history," said Negar, who like her friends had plastered a small Iran flag on her face.

Reza, while expressing pride over the 1-0 defeat, blamed what he termed as poor management at Iran's Football Federation.

"Our boys were perfect. It is a shame that they did not have a proper preparation," he said, referring to only a few friendly matches prior to the tournament, in part due to lack of funds.

"And now they can't even extend (Carlos) Queiroz's contract," he added.

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